Technology Update 2011 – BMV

BMV (Bedside Medication Verification)
Err not, scan the spot! Scanning saves lives
by Phyllis D. Whitener, RN, BSN, NE-BC

The Institute of Medicine estimates that on average a hospitalized patient is subjected to one med administration error every day, most of which are unrecognized by the caregiver. Because medication errors are so common, seldom intercepted or caught, and can be so devastating, a barcode medication administration process is strongly recommended for all hospitals. Approximately 1/3 of hospitals are using a bedside medication verification system (BMV) and electronic MAR (eMAR) and the number is growing.

CVMC will be implementing this patient safety initiative early this summer. Key points of the process:

  • pharmacy staff scan all drugs when they are received in pharmacy
  • nurse scans a barcode on the patient’s wristband
  • nurse scans each unit-dose medication packet at the bedside
  • information captured is compared with the patient’s drug orders entered by pharmacy in the Meditech system
  • If all elements are correct, the staff administers the medication
  • If all elements are not correct, the nurse takes the necessary steps
  • medication is electronically charted in the eMAR
  • administration information is immediately integrated with the patient’s other clinical documentation
  • ensures verification of the “five rights” of medication safety
  • does not replace the staff’s check of these five rights

Using an electronic MAR means that there will be no labels from pharmacy: no waiting for them or trying to keep up with them! No more pages and pages of MARs to shuffle through! Orders will be acknowledged electronically during the order noting process.

Pediatrics and Inpatient Rehab will be pilot units to evaluate the process steps. Other inpatient units will follow at regular intervals. Long term goals are for all areas to utilize this safety net for our patients although some areas will present unique issues to work through.

BMV provides positive patient identification and reduces the number of medication errors, and it is The Right Thing To Do for our patients and ourselves.