Article

Bar coding for patient safety

Brigham and Women's Hospital, Boston, Massachusetts, United States
New England Journal of Medicine (Impact Factor: 54.42). 08/2005; 353(4):329-31. DOI: 10.1056/NEJMp058101
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    • "Hospitals in developed countries soon incorporated new information and communication technologies into their infrastructure so as to cope with the everyday management and organisation for example, of services, procedures, and statistical data (Greenes et al, 1995; Gunn, 1998; Husk and Waxman, 2004). Integrated hospital information systems were developed (Haugh, 2005; Wright and Katz, 2005; Harrison and Young, 2005; Safran and Detmer, 2005; Nolan, 2005), and virtual hospitals and medical centres emerged where most of the services and administrative transactions are displayed electronically (Courreges, et al, 2005; Meystre, 2005; Duplaga et al, 2004; Ozuah and Reznik, 2004; Wolski, 2004; Effken et al, 2004; Tieman, 2004; Scavuzzo and Gamba, 2004); including the doctorpatient relationship (Annonymous, 2004; Bullard et al, 2004; Booth et al, 2004; Ross et al, 2004). Hospital libraries were not the exception and virtual libraries were extended throughout the United States, Canada and the European Union in an effort to provide fast access to information sources in the place and time demanded by the end user (Rourke et al, 2005; D'Alessandro, et al, 1998; De Groote, 2005; McLeod et al, 2005; Lindberg and Humphreys, 2005; Kabrhel et al, 2005; Kronenfeld, 2005). "
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    ABSTRACT: Introduction: Information regarding hospital libraries in the United States, Canada and the European Union abounds. Little information however exists in the literature regarding hospital libraries in Latin America and the Caribbean. While new information and communication technologies (ict) are being transferred from developed to less developed countries and major emphasis is being placed worldwide on quality of health care, evidence based-medicine, and the use of information on the decision process mechanisms in the delivery of health care, little is known about the capability and empowerment of hospitals in less developed countries to respond to such needs. Purpose: The purpose of this work is to present the preliminary results of a research in progress on the existing virtual positioning of electronic libraries among hospitals in Latin America and the Caribbean. Method: A webometric analysis was conducted through the electronic search of those Latin American and Caribbean hospital websites hosting a virtual/electronic library available to their user community via the Internet. The study was limited to a search in Google, HotBot and Yahoo, in 2005. BIREME’s Virtual Health Libraries were excluded from the study, considering the available information on the development of this project. Results: A total of 2,523 hospitals were identified, as reported by 34 Latin American and Caribbean countries. However, only 501(19.85%) hospitals reported an institutional website; 56 (11.18%) stated to have a library; and only 17 (3.39%) owned a virtual/electronic library. These countries were the following in descending order: Mexico, Argentina, and Venezuela. Discussion: These preliminary results reflect the need to continue this work of research in order to establish a diagnosis of the existing situation in terms of infrastructure and ict developments so as to improve the access and use of scientific and technical information among hospitals. The paper discusses both, (1) the important role of BIREME’s effort in developing virtual accesses to health libraries in the region and (2) the different implications of this type of research to information providers; end-users; managers and librarians, among others in the health sector.
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    ABSTRACT: Hospitalized infants often receive expressed breast milk, either from their mother or from banked milk. Breast milk provides optimal nutrition for infants but because it is a body fluid it carries the risk of disease transmission. Therefore, administering the correct breast milk to hospitalized infants is essential. Bar coding technology, used in hospitals to prevent errors related to medication administration, can be proactively applied to prevent breast milk administration errors. Bar coding systems offer advantages over manual verification processes, including decreasing errors due to human factors and providing for automated entry of feedings in the electronic health record. However, potential barriers to successful implementation must be addressed. These barriers include equipment and training costs, increased time to perform the additional steps with bar coding, and work-arounds.
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