The Huron Perth Health Alliance and Stratford General Hospital have received a million-dollar grant from the Province of Ontario to develop a digital system for eliminating medication mistakes – primarily using a barcode and scanning system.
The Electronic Medication Administration Record, and Barcode Medication Verification system (EMAR BAV) is part of HPHA’s ’PatientKeeper’ software and hardware system. According to John Brennan, the HPHA IT Manager, the medication control system has 5 “Right” goals:
It works like this: a patient’s armband is scanned using a barcode reader, and then the medication that has been ordered for that patient is also scanned to ensure there’s a match.
“Once the computer system gives the green light that, yes, it’s the right patient and the right med – and this is all done wirelessly – the medication will be administered and the outcomes are much better, because we’re not having as much of a risk of inaccurate meds being given out to the patient,” explained Brennan.
The nurse will have a handheld computer with a barcode scanner attached, or a mini-medcart with a computer on top to allow them to go from bed to bed as they scan.
It’s an important piece in HPHA’s drive to become the most online small/rural healthcare organization in Ontario by 2015. The primary means are:
Greater patient safety through electronic means
Capitalize on Stratford’s broadband strengths to enable patient care quality and access
Last year, Intelligent Community Forum co-founder Robert Bell called Stratford one of the world’s “just-right” communities.
His opinion hasn’t changed.
In fact, on his return visit this week to help evaluate Stratford’s bid to become the ICF’s 2013 Intelligent Community of the Year, Bell said he has seen the city make progress along that path.
And it’s triangular.
“It’s called the innovation triangle,” Bell told a group of business and community leaders Tuesday night at the 3rdRail Society co-working space in Stratford, “and it’s actually beginning. I can see it. I can see it. It’s beginning to cook.”
Bell was referring to the collaboration between business, education and government, which the ICF considers critical for a community to thrive in the so-called broadband economy.
That triangle is taking shape in Stratford, he said, after a day-long visit that included stops at city hall, the University of Waterloo Stratford campus, the Stratford Accelerator Centre and Florida Production Engineering (FPE), as well as meetings with local students, entrepreneurs, and employment representatives.
“Here in Stratford, you are pioneering things,” said Bell, noting that the city is ahead of the curve when it comes to the use of high-speed Internet connectivity for economic and social change.
It’s easy to get excited about innovation, especially with the fantastic things taking place in the global digital economy. Almost every day, we see new ideas and products being announced. We are literally bombarded with a menu of new ideas and innovations. How do we choose?
The City of Stratford is dealing with this very issue as well as dealing with the challenges of ensuring we continue to invest in keeping our hardware, software and websites current. We also need to invest our time and budgets into examining new innovations in the digital economy. Our strategy has been to enter into strategic partnerships with partners who operate on the global stage, such as Toshiba and Cisco.
These strategic partnerships have allowed us to approach the hard work of selecting the very best opportunities to examine and to give us the information we require to undertake the hard work of building business cases that will demonstrate whether these innovations will also pay for themselves over time.