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OPELOUSAS, La. -- In a move to help make Opelousas General Health System (OGHS) one of the nations safest places for patient care, nurses have adopted SafetyMed RN, an automated bedside medication administration system with multiple built-in safeguards from Omnicell, Inc. Installation in two of OGHSs nursing units has been completed, with the remainder coming online in the next few months.
SafetyMed RN, integrated with OGHSs existing health information system, utilizes bar code scanning technology to capture and input data from the patient's wristband, medication packaging, and the nurses own identification badge. With a few bar code swipes, nurses instantly verify what is known in the healthcare industry as the five rights of medication administration: right patient, right drug, right dose, right time and right route. In addition, the system--in a fraction of a second--checks for potential drug interactions and drug allergies. SafetyMed RN can also function if bar codes are unavailable.
Switching from a manual to an automated system brought to light variations in the medication-use process throughout the hospital, explained chief nursing officer Donna Cooper, RN. SafetyMed RN has better organized the process, which increases patient safety. Its also making our job as nurses easier.
Jackie Harbour, RN, director of the intensive care (ICU) and progressive care (PGU) units, agrees. We are just really excited about this new technology, said Harbour. This will help us improve patient safety dramatically. There is a national focus to decrease medical errors and we are being proactive in taking all steps to improve patient safety with implementation of the SafetyMed RN system.
So far, Omnicell has trained 60 Opelousas nurses to use the new system, which utilizes scanning hardware and software and 12 mobile computing stations.
This was a giant step toward maximizing patient safety, concluded Jared Lormand, chief information officer for OGHS, who guided the systems installation.
Nurses are enthusiastic because it helps them improve patient care by using technology they designed, explained Jan Moss, RN, Omnicells on-site consultant who is training nurses to use the system. The involvement of nurses in developing Omnicell patient safety technology is a primary reason nurses preferred Omnicell systems in 15 of 17 categories in a national nurse preference survey conducted last year.
SafetyMed RN is part of Omnicells MedGuard(TM) suite of end-to-end solutions for the medication-use process, from the central pharmacy to the patients bedside. Advanced bar code technology is employed throughout the MedGuard product line.