Codonics Safe Label System and The Emily Jerry Foundation on “Mission of Safety” during National Patient Safety Week
National Patient Safety Week presents an ideal time to reinforce how technology helps reduce the risk of deadly outcomes in the operating room and beyond
CLEVELAND, March 4, 2013 /PRNewswire/ — Medication errors are happening right now, somewhere. Despite persistent education and best efforts, errors continue to occur in the perioperative environment. National Patient Safety Week, March 3-9, 2013, focuses on educating patients and healthcare professionals and underscores the need to build in new systems and processes to improve patient safety.
Codonics has aligned with The Emily Jerry Foundation in an effort to increase public awareness of medication errors and recognize technology available to remove the human error element of medication preparation and administration.
The Emily Jerry Foundation was established in 2009 following Emily’s death from a preventable medication error that occurred only days after her second birthday. A pediatric cancer patient, Emily, like all children and infants, was particularly vulnerable to medication errors because of her small size and weight. Emily was given a dose of concentrated sodium chloride in her chemotherapy IV bag as a result of a mistake made in the pharmacy. This medication error, lethal to a child, resulted in her death.
“It is imperative that we close the gap between what we know are best standards of practice and what is actually being delivered as care to patients,” said Christopher Jerry, President and CEO of The Emily Jerry Foundation. “Implementing technology that reduces the human error element of medication preparation and administration plays a key role in enhancing safety. We must put systems in place to ensure the checks and balances required in these all too often hectic environments that demand rapid decision-making. Codonics Safe Label System embodies the standardization, technology, pharmacy oversight and cultural changes required to reduce medication errors.”
Technologies like the Safe Label System can help prevent these types of medication errors and reduce patient harm. SLS sits anywhere in the healthcare enterprise medications are prepared, and utilizes barcode technology to read information from a drug container and electronically verify it immediately against the pharmacy’s hospital-approved drug database. This verification ensures that a drug is approved for use, is diluted only according to the hospital’s policies for that drug, and can include warning and/or messages about a drug. For example, when a drug is scanned on SLS, the clinician is immediately presented with audible and visual confirmation of the drug name and concentration, providing an electronic “double-check” to ensure the medication that was selected is correct. The system then automatically prints a Joint Commission compliant, easy-to-read full-color label that can be immediately adhered to a syringe, IV bag or other mediation, ensuring safety and accuracy. The label states the drug name, concentration, expiration date and time, the preparer’s initials, the dilution (if applicable) and any warnings or messages about the drug. The label also includes a 2D barcode that can be used to integrate with the hospital’s AIMS or EMR. Once the medication is prepared and labeled, this barcode enables the clinician to “check before you inject”. When the clinician scans the labeled medication on SLS prior to administration to the patient, the system presents an additional audible and visual confirmation of the drug as well as the time remaining before the drug expires.
“Today’s healthcare environment is calling on increased pharmacy oversight with increased technology at every point where patient medications are prepared,” said Peter Botten, President and CEO, Codonics. “Globally, renowned hospitals have implemented Safe Label System in an effort to increase their commitment to patient safety. Together, we are working toward putting an end to preventable patient harm. SLS removes the element of human error and ushers in a new era of patient safety using barcode technology. Our goal in working with The Emily Jerry Foundation is to bring people, processes and technology together. Losing one life to a preventable medication error is one too many.”
The 1999 Institute of Medicine (IOM) report (To Err is Human), estimated that more than 1 million injuries and nearly 100,000 deaths occur in the United States each year as a result of mistakes that are preventable. Medication errors occurring in hospitals alone, conservatively, amount to $3.5 billion per year because of longer hospital stays and interventions.
A true innovation and with many benefits to the healthcare system, the SLS automates the medication identification and labeling process and brings pharmacy oversight with improved safety to the point of care without the need to have a pharmacist present. During National Patient Safety Week, it is important the industry align with organizations in an effort to ensure the safety of every patient.