Barcode Medication Administration is one of the medical information systems used in hospitals and other healthcare organizations to collect and store information on patients for improved quality and safety outcomes. According to Seibert, Maddox, Flynn, and Williams (2014), Barcode Medication Administration is a computerized system designed to prevent medical errors in routine hospital activities, such as ordering and administering prescription drugs. The method comprises of a bar code medication device with a computer connected to wireless internet, a bar code reader, and software that runs the process. Since evidence shows that medical errors occur during the ordering and administering of medication, the information system is revealed to play an essential role in the prevention and improving precision during these processes. The system is usually used by nurses as a verification technology and has shown considerable potential in reducing errors when prescribing and dispensing drugs. Although various information systems promote evidence-based practice in nursing, Barcode Medication Administration plays a fundamental role in enhancing safety outcomes in drug administration in healthcare facilities.
Technology in Evidence-Based Nursing
Evidence-based nursing is an important concept in healthcare since it relates to the use of research findings to inform effective processes in clinical settings. Cashin and Cook (2010) suggest that technology plays an essential role in evidence-based practice in contemporary nursing. Information systems contribute to nursing theory and practice from the perspective of improving their work and patient outcomes. Furthermore, in using technology, nurses gain a deeper understanding of their work and expectations. Caregivers understand what to do, when, and how to do it. Nursing informatics represents a kind of intelligence that health care providers could use to facilitate their care processes (McGonigle & Mastrian, 2015). Nurses and other healthcare professionals are in constant pursuit of information and knowledge on how to improve their services and achieve better patient outcomes. Information systems have provided the solution to this problem.
Various information systems offer significant information in research and practice for nurses. They are the source of evidence on how to improve their practice. A practical example of such systems is the Barcode Medication Administration, which is enhancing the way nurses collect, store, and use patient information in theory and practice (Seibert, Maddox, Flynn, & Williams, 2014). The Electronic Medication Administration system is a critical source of evidence that the information system can be useful in improving care and patient outcomes by reducing the rate of medical errors. The evidence-based role of the barcode technology is to enable the documentation of drugs administered to increase accuracy, generate records required for medication, and reduce preventable errors. In addition, when using the system, nurses can capture and keep track of patient information for future actions, including evaluation of effectiveness.
Barcode Medication Administration in Patient
Nurses play a significant role in ensuring patients’ safety in their practice. As a result, technology has developed to ascertain that this goal of care is achieved. Errors that occur in the administration of drugs are among the reasons that increase unfavorable safety outcomes in healthcare settings. Such errors are responsible for deaths and other adverse patient outcomes in hospitals. The Institute of Medicine estimates more than one million injuries and around 100,000 fatalities every year resulting from medical errors (Makary & Daniel, 2016). The issues that arise during dispensation, prescription, and administration phases of the medication process could be avoided if the administration process is automated and information can be collected and stored accurately.
The criteria for evaluating patient safety outcome in the use of Barcode Medication is measuring the reduction of medical errors before and after implementation of the information system. The informatics leader can collect data on the rate of errors before execution of the system to compare with the outcome after implementation. Effectiveness is established if the rate after implementation is lower than the rate before the adoption and use of the system.
Nurses’ Role in Enhancing the Technology
Nurses are directly involved in the use of the information system and should develop a deeper understanding of its effectiveness and need for improvement. Nurses understand that the Barcode Medication Administration system integrates different technological applications into the workflow and are involved in various aspects of its use. They are responsible for their use in healthcare organizations given that they have a role in the administration of drugs (Seibert, Maddox, Flynn, & Williams, 2014). Effectiveness in reducing medical errors is evident, especially in the affixing of barcodes to drugs at the unit-dose level. Consequently, nurses should be involved in the design and testing of the original technology and its improvement to advance efficiency and usability. Despite the evidence in support for the information system and effectiveness in reducing medical errors, the rate of adoption and use remains relatively low (Rosenbaum, 2014). Hence, involving nurses in the entire development and implementation process could be critical in improving their popularity and application to enhance the care process. Evidence obtained from the current use is useful in future implementation of the system in other organizational settings in the country and internationally.
Types of Data and Data Management
Data plays a vital role in various outcomes in nursing care and healthcare settings. The Barcode Medication Administration is critical in collecting patient information, including medical history, diagnosis, and treatment for the purpose of effective management of the disease and future use of the information in evaluating outcome (Al-Rawajfah, Aloush, & Hewitt, 2014; Samuels, Mcgrath, Fetzer, Mittal, & Bourgoine, 2015). Whenever a patient is treated at the hospital, the information is captured using the barcode reader and stored into the hospitals’s database. Such information becomes critical when tracking and monitoring treatment for individuals and when identifying trends, such as the rate of medical errors at the hospital within a specified period. The system plays a crucial role in proper data management because of the automated process of capturing as well as data storage. The information system ensures that patients’ data is recorded and stored for the current and future use.
Technology and information systems are playing an indispensable role in nursing and evidence-based care. They are the basis for improving patient outcomes, including quality and safety. One such information system is the Barcode Medication Administration, which plays a vital part in ensuring precision in drug administration to reduce medical errors. Effectiveness of the Barcode Medication Administration is especially evident when nurses are involved in their entire lifecycle. Evidence shows that the Barcode Medication Administration system is effective in improving quality and safety of care in various hospital settings by recording information accurately to reduce medical errors. Hence, the system is an integral part of evidence-based practice in healthcare.