SOMC Launches New Medication Process

Southern Ohio Medical Center has launched a new process for giving medication to patients during their hospital stay.

The nurse will use a hand-held scanner to scan her/his ID badge, the patient’s hospital ID bracelet and the code printed on the patient’s medication packet prior to giving the medication.

“This helps assure that the right medicine is reaching the right patient the right way,” Julie Irwin, nurse manager of SOMC’s Three North-A unit, explains. Her unit was the first to “go live” with the process Aug. 21. Other nursing units throughout the hospital will adopt the process over the coming months.

The process is called Bar Code Medication Administration (BCMA), using an Electronic Medication Administration Record (eMAR). SOMC is participating in a national safety initiative and this proven best practice for safety and error prevention helps protect the patient’s “Five Rights” (right patient, medication, dose, time and route).

Coinciding with the deployment of BCMA is pharmacy unit dose packaging, a process in which the SOMC pharmacy individually packages and codes each dose of a patient’s medications, which are then stored in a secure containment system near the patient’s room.