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Healthc Inform Res > Volume 15(3); 2009 > Article
Journal of Korean Society of Medical Informatics 2009;15(3):303-312.
DOI: https://doi.org/10.4258/jksmi.2009.15.3.303    Published online September 30, 2009.
Technical Considerations for Successful Implementation of a Barcode-based Medication System in Hospital
Jong Soo Choi, Dongsoo Kim
Department of Industrial and Information Systems Engineering, Soongsil University, Korea.
Correspondence:  Dongsoo Kim,
Received: 30 August 2009

Objective: To identify the technical considerations in implementing a barcode-based medication system and propose practical solutions for successful implementation of the system. In order to reduce medical errors related to medication and blood transfusion, we analyze various factors that hinder the successful implementation of the barcode-based medication system and discuss issues involved in the effective adoption of such a system.

Methods: The barcode-based medication system of this research uses one-dimensional, barcode bands on patients' wrists and two-dimensional barcodes attached to drug bags and blood bags. PDAs with barcode reading capability and wireless networking function are used, which enables Point of Care. The business process for applying the developed system and the current status of the system usage are analyzed.

Results: The factors causing a variety of system failures in the demonstration and pilot periods were identified and categorized as including PDA malfunction, PDA battery discharge due to users' carelessness, confusion in reading barcodes and so on.

Conclusions: It is expected that the analyzed obstructive factors and the proposed technical considerations addressed in this paper can help other hospitals implement similar barcode-based medication systems successfully. Ultimately, this research will contribute to reducing medical errors and improving quality of patient care.

Key Words: Barcode, Medication Error, Blood Transfusion, Technical Considerations


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