Bronson LakeView Outpatient Practices Reduces Medication Errors

Posted on January 10, 2019

Hospital SpotlightMedication errors cause hundreds of thousands of injuries per year in the United States. However, mistakes related to the dispensing and prescription of medication are preventable, and knowledge and good communication is often the best line of defense.

In September 2017, Paw Paw-based Bronson LakeView Hospital, a 35-bed critical access hospital, formed a multidisciplinary group to work toward a reduction in medication errors within its outpatient practices by using Barcode Medication Administration (BCMA) technology.

The group consisted of staff from the Outpatient Practices, Information Technology, Pharmacy, and Patient Safety and Quality. BCMA is not commonplace in the outpatient practice setting, and organizations oftentimes lack the resources needed to be successful. Therefore, Bronson LakeView’s initiative to make medication errors a primary focus area and tackle the problem is considered a huge milestone.

BCMA technology often consists of computers and handheld devices to identify barcodes and ensure patients receive the correct medication at the correct time by electronically authorizing and recording medications. If the medication is ordered incorrectly, the employee receives a notification.

From September 2017 to March 2018, Bronson LakeView regularly had process meetings to discuss logistics, BCMA implementation and equipment needs, as well as workflow changes. A six-week pilot was initiated in March 2018. However, it was deemed a success after two days based on its ease of use and number of incorrect medication alerts.

Over the next several months, phases of the trial were rolled out and implemented within various practices, all of which were successful after only a couple days.

In June 2018, Bronson LakeView received executive approval to expand the BCMA technology system wide and to fund ongoing efforts. By January 2019, medication scanning will be implemented across all Bronson Outpatient Practices.

The successful implementation of BCMA within Bronson LakeView Hospital's outpatient practices has resulted in a 100 percent reduction of medication errors. It has also improved efficiency and accuracy in documentation by eliminating manual processes.

Overall, Bronson LakeView has been successful in its efforts with staff members’ creativity, perseverance and commitment to implement a bar-coded technology to prevent human error and, ultimately, protect its patients from medication errors. 

This article was featured in the MHA Keystone Center Newsletter. To subscribe, please contact Ashley Sandborn, MHA Keystone Center communications specialist.

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  • Bronson LakeView Outpatient Practices Reduces Medication Errors

Tags: Bronson, Hospital Spotlight

Posted in: Patient Safety & Quality

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