Hospitals Go High-Tech to Halt Medical Mistakes

By Jill Kasparie, Reporter

Tools

By KCRG Intern

CEDAR RAPIDS, Iowa - Hospitals across Iowa are beginning to use more high-tech equiptment. St. Luke's in Cedar Rapids is one of many turning to new computerized programs. Hospitals used to depend on hand written notes for prescriptions and patient care, which often lead to mistakes.

The new technology helps to reduce the amount of errors. With one swipe of a handheld scanner over a wrist band, nurses know everything there is to know about a patient.

"It will tell us if we have the right patient, the right medication, the right time. It also gives us allergy warnings," said Debbie Julian, St. Luke’s Nurse.

This transformation is all a part of a new system at St. Luke's. Nurses scan something many of us recognize as QR codes. That bar code activates that person's computerized chart. A warning will then popsup on the computer to alert doctors and nurses to stop if a treatment is incorrect.

"I think it raises the bar in patient safety,” Julian said.

Patsy Ott-Pick, a Cedar Falls patient, recently underwent a knee surgery. She is among the first to sport a wrist band with the special codes.

"I think you have a little more confidence in everything. You're getting the medications that you are supposed to be getting, like you know if for some reason something got mixed into mine," Ott-Pick said.

Just a few blocks down the road, Mercy Medical Center also has a similar wrist band bar code scanning system. Pharmacist Systems Analyst Howard Cobb said it has already proven to reduce medical mistakes. He said between 60 and 80 percent of all errors can be prevented with the technology.

"There are a lot of studies out there that show that using bar code technology to identify patients improves patient safety. So, it's very important that it's adopted in the health care industry and it is gaining more and more use throughout healthcare,” Cobb said.

Each year hospitals invest in a new form of technology, such as automated prescription machines and robots. Medical professionals know this is just the beginning of the ever-growing amount of medicinal technology.

Conversation Guidelines

Be Kind

Don't use abusive, offensive, threatening, racist, vulgar or sexually-oriented language.
Don't attack someone personally. Keep it civil and be responsible.

Share Knowledge

Be truthful. Share what you know and what you are passionate about.
What more do you want to learn? Keep it simple.

Stay focused

Promote lively and healthy debate. Stay on topic. Ask questions and give feedback on the story's topic.

Report Trouble

Help us maintain a quality comment section by reporting comments that are offensive. If you see a comment that is offensive, or you feel violates our guidelines, simply click on the "x" to the far right of the comment to report it.


read the full guidelines here »

Commenting will be disabled on stories dealing with the following subject matter: Crime, sexual abuse, property fires, automobile accidents, Amber Alerts, Operation Quickfinds and suicides.

facebook twitter rss mobile google plus
email alerts you tube hooplanow pinterest instagram

What's On KCRG