BD Introduces New System to Improve Patient Safety and Reduce Specimen Handling Errors


FRANKLIN LAKES, N.J. -- BD announced today at the American Academy of Clinical Chemistry's (AACC) annual meeting the introduction of the new Patient Identification System. The System is designed to enhance patient care and reduce overall healthcare costs by limiting the potential for medical errors that can occur while collecting, transporting and storing blood, urine and other specimens. Incorrectly matching a specimen or laboratory result to a patient ultimately can cause a physician, nurse or other healthcare professional to provide incorrect and potentially dangerous courses of treatment.

"The System is a positive new development, because specimens used for diagnostic testing are collected from the right patient, at the right time, into the right specimen container and this information is linked back to the right patient." said William A. Kozy, president of BD Clinical Laboratory Solutions. "This is significant because diagnostic testing plays such a vital role in determining a patient's course of treatment."

"In tests at our facility, the System markedly enhanced patient safety by greatly reducing the misidentification of specimens," said George Hardy, assistant administrator of ancillary services at the South Georgia Medical Center in Valdosta.

The centerpiece of the System is a handheld computer with a built-in scanner. Prior to collecting a specimen, the System identifies the healthcare professional by scanning a user ID badge. Once confirmed, the patient's bar-coded wristband is also scanned, at bedside, to confirm that the right patient is receiving the right tests. After these initial patient safety steps are complete, the specimen is collected. Next, the System matches the specimen collection orders stored in the handheld computer with the information scanned from the patient wristband and confirms that the specimen container is the correct one for the tests ordered. A new bar code label for the specimen container is printed at the patient's bedside with the time and date of collection. Lastly, when replaced in its cradle, the System synchronizes with the laboratory information system and confirms with the labs that the correct collection from the patient was completed.

Two hospitals involved in pilot testing the System, South Georgia Medical Center (SGMC) in Valdosta, Ga. and The Valley Hospital (TVH) in Ridgewood, N.J., generated data that demonstrated a reduction in specimen collection errors in the collection process, with the following results:

* Nearly 100 percent reduction in specimen errors when the specimen

management system was used (TVH)

-- The remaining errors (0.05 percent of collections) resulted from

incorrect/incomplete specimen labeling, in which the healthcare

worker sent a specimen to the lab without applying the label at all

* 100 percent reduction in specimen errors in areas when using the

specimen management system (SGMC)

* 13 percent reduction in staff time per collection (TVH)

* 55 percent reduction in specimen-receipt time in laboratory (TVH)

"TVH's experience demonstrated that the System not only increases patient safety, it reduces costs," said Michael Mutter, clinical systems quality improvement director at The Valley Hospital. "By diminishing the number of unnecessary repeated sample collections that can result in label errors, and improving the efficiency of the specimen management process, we were able to save more than $100,000 over a year's time."

BD is a medical technology company that serves healthcare institutions, life science researchers, clinical laboratories, industry and the general public. BD manufactures and sells a broad range of medical supplies, devices, laboratory equipment and diagnostic products.

Source: BD

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