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March 26, 2009 - Image 66

Resource type:
Text
Publication:
The Detroit Jewish News, 2009-03-26

Disclaimer: Computer generated plain text may have errors. Read more about this.

Licensed by the State of Michigan
Insured • Bonded

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I 111__J

1 41

High-Tech Pharmacy
Boosts Patient Safety

Mark Rosenblum,

M.D., vice presi-

dent of clinical pro-

•-

All caregivers thoroughly screened
including extensive background checks.

grams, discusses

patient safety

issues with Mark

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Smythesngt PVI#ehinian

of pharmacy ser-

vices at Henry Ford

West Bloomfield

Hospital. The com-

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S

afety trumps all at the new
Henry Ford West Bloomfield
Hospital.
From the design of the
building to the day-to-day decisions
made by staff, the most important
element is patient safety. And a
major factor in the safety of patients
—outpatient and inpatient — is to
make sure that the correct medica-
tions are properly dispensed and
administered.
Medication errors can be caused
by poor communication, sloppy
handwriting, drug name confusion,
lack of staff knowledge and patient
misunderstanding about how to take
the medication. At Henry Ford West
Bloomfield Hospital, state-of-the-art
computerized equipment and pro-
cesses contribute to the safe envi-
ronment for patients.
The U.S. Food and Drug
Administration says that there is at
least one death per day, and more
than one million are injured annually,
in the U.S. due to medication errors.
Safer practices require safer
systems. In the in-patient phar-
macy at Henry Ford West Bloomfield
Hospital, high-tech equipment and
software manages inventory, and
improves efficiency and safety by
streamlining the work flow. A com-
puterized pharmacy information
system guides technicians to pull the
correct medication from a sophisti-
cated "fast find" storage carousel, or
a packaging robot. (The carousel in
West Bloomfield is one of only a few
in Michigan hospitals.)
Bar codes printed on all medica-
tions are checked as part of the
dispensing procedure, to reduce the
chance of an error, and a pharmacist

double checks medications before
they are sent to the patient lodges.
Most medications are available
in automatic medication dispensing
cabinets, located near the nurs-
ing stations in the patient lodges.
When a medication is ordered, it
is screened by a pharmacist and
entered into the pharmacy informa-
tion system, which sends a message
to the automatic dispensing cabinet,
alerting the nurse that the order has
been reviewed and is safe for admin-
istration to the patient.
In the medication cabinet, each
locked drawer is marked with a
patient's name.
The nurse delivers medication to
one patient at a time, as opposed to
the common practice of delivering
several patients' medications in one
trip.
This process significantly reduces
the possibility of error. The nurse car-
ries the medication in a red basket,
signaling that he or she is not to be
interrupted, except in case of emer-
gency. Removing distractions, such
as frequent interruptions, enhances
patient safety.
Incorrectly programming intra-
venous pumps is one of the most
common types of medication errors.
At Henry Ford West Bloomfield, infu-
sion pumps (sometimes called smart
pumps) can be pre-programmed with
standard concentrations, as well as
dose limits for IV medications. The
pump will alert the nurse if the pump
has been programmed outside of
safe limits and will prevent adminis-
tration of doses considered unsafe. A
central computer monitors alerts as
they occur and assesses if the alerts
are properly configured. -

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