Case Study

Mobile Computers Help Minimize Medication Errors, Increase Patient Safety

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Underwood-Memorial Hospital (Woodbury, N.J.) was in a search of a technology solution that would increase patient safety at the point-of-care (POC). In July 2007, the 305-licensed bed, acute-care hospital embarked on rolling out a mobile and wireless medication administration verification system that has reduced reported medication errors by 15%.

Last year, administration at Underwood-Memorial Hospital committed to making a stronger push for safety at the point-of-care. Specifically, the hospital wanted to focus on ensuring the 5 Rights of patient safety when administering medications by verifying: the right patient receives the right medication at the right time in the right dose via the right route. The hospital needed a solution that would minimize misidentification errors that could potentially lead to clinical errors.

After testing several different technology products, Underwood-Memorial chose the Cerner CareMobile system. The hospital also selected the Dolphin 9500 Mobile Computer from Honeywell for automatic barcode verification and to wirelessly transmit real-time patient information. To complete the solution, Underwood-Memorial put barcodes on all patients and medications within the hospital.

Typically hospitals mount the mobile computers' chargers at the nurses' station, but many are searching for a way to make the devices more accessible to nurses. By mounting chargers to the carts, accessing a charged mobile computer is easy and convenient.