The Science Journal of the American Association for Respiratory Care

2012 OPEN FORUM Abstracts

BARCODE SCANNING: DOES IT REDUCE ERRORS MADE DURING POINT OF CARE TESTING?

Jenni L. Raake, Thomas Cahill, Jerry Edens, Clarence Karnes, Joseph Westrich; Respiratory Care, Cincinnati Childrens Hospital, Cincinnati, OH

Background: Errors occurring during point of care laboratory testing (POCT) are often related to patient misidentification. Subsequently, results are not transmitted to the chart. Our hospital uses the iSTAT POCT system. Prior to technology enhancements, Respiratory Therapists were manually entering their hospital identification number and the patient identification number into the chart. In 2010, we measured this manual process and noted that it yielded 178 errors while performing 32,318 POCT procedures. In February 2012, the hospital instituted enhancements which incorporated barcode scanning technology and patient armband with barcodes. We evaluated the recent process enhancements to determine if barcode scanning has reduced the volume of POCT errors. Methods: We reviewed laboratory reports for the ICUs from 2010 through the 1st 5 months of 2012 which showed the volume of POC tests (79,487) and the number of reported errors (560). We also projected out the volume of tests and the number of errors for 2012 based on the volume of tests and errors made over the last two years. Results: Since the introduction of barcode scanning, we have performed 7,560 POCT procedures with 35 errors reported. When compared to prior years, we noted a 40% reduction in POCT errors. Based on previous years and current number of procedures, projected volumes for 2012 are 30,312 POCT tests with a projected volume of 122 errors, also projecting a 40% reduction in POCT errors. Conclusions: Based on the results of our study, barcode scanning of the patient armband has helped to reduce the number of errors during the POCT process. This reduction in errors has lead to an increase in patient safety Sponsored Research - None