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Atlantic General Hospital Improves Patient Safety with New Medication Tracking Technology

Atlantic General Hospital recently implemented a new technology called electronic Medication Administration Record (eMAR), an emerging technology which uses barcodes on both the medication and patient that are scanned at the bedside before the medication is administered.

According to a report published in the Journal of the American Medical Association, approximately thirty-eight percent of medication errors across the nation occur at the point when the medication is actually administered to the patient. eMAR technology greatly reduces the number of errors that occur at this step.

At AGH a quick scan of the patient’s wrist band eMAR will compare the patient’s information including weight, height, diagnosis and allergies with the medication itself to verify the "5 rights" -- the right patient, right drug, right dose, right route, and right time.

This kind of technology, which is utilized by less than fifteen percent of hospitals nationwide, was a high priority for Atlantic General Hospital . “Atlantic General’s extraordinary commitment to patient safety was clearly behind our implementation of this cutting edge, point-of-care technology” said Murray Oltman, Director of Information Services.

eMAR is just one more measure that will allow the hospital to keep in line with their Medication Safety Standards as well as those of the Joint Commission on Accreditation of Healthcare Organizations (JCAHO), the national hospital accrediting body.

"Our primary goal every day is to make sure each patient's stay is as safe and as comfortable as possible,” said Anne Waples, patient safety coordinator at Atlantic General Hospital . “eMAR is one more process we have instituted to assist us in meeting that goal."