Cook Children's finds success with e-barcoding in CHIME case study

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The College of Healthcare Information Management Executives (CHIME) has released the first of its in-depth case studies, intended to highlight how IT can improve healthcare delivery and to detail how providers are successfully implementing technology to promote sharing of best practices in IT implementation.

This first case study examines Cook Children’s Medical Center in Fort Worth, Texas, which has achieved wide adoption of an electronic bar-coding system that verifies medication delivery is correct before pediatric patients receive it. Executives at Cook Children’s report that more than 97 percent of medications and patients are scanned before patients receive treatment, thanks to careful planning and ongoing support and attention to how clinicians are using the technology.

Verifying medication doses are crucial in care delivery, especially for pediatric patients, because dosages typically vary dramatically, based on the weight of the patient. Either too low or too high of a dose can reduce the effectiveness of treatment or potentially harm the patient through an overdose.

Beginning in November 2010, Cook Children’s implemented a bedside medication verification system to prevent such variances in drug administration. Bedside medication verification uses integrated technology to check in real time, before medication is administered to a patient, to make sure the right medication is being given in the right dose to the right patient at the right time and in the correct manner–commonly called the “Five Rights” of medication administration.

The case study is the first in a series entitled “ When IT Matters: Improving Care Delivery and Patient Outcomes through Technology.” The series is intended to provide technical detail for successful IT implementations as well as show non-IT professionals the benefits and challenges of installing health IT. Read the full case study on CHIME's website.