The groundswell that will become the tsunami continues. NBC’s WVIR-TV affiliate in Virginia has joined a growing number of mainstream media reports of late noting the benefits of bedside barcoding. In this instance, the spotlight is on Martha Jefferson Hospital. In the report, NBC says: It is one of 25 hospitals in the country to be recognized for its technological improvements that are designed to provide faster and safer service… Patient care is more automated than most places. Nurses are using a new barcode systems designed to prevent patients from getting the wrong medicines.
The broadcast doesn’t get very specific about the location, size and scope of Martha Jefferson Hospital, apparently because local viewers are familiar with it. But it is a 176-bed hospital located in Charlottesville, Virginia , handling almost 10,000 inpatient admissions a year, 117,000 outpatient visits, and 32,664 emergency room visits — an average of about 90 a day.
So MJH is no Cedars-Sanai in terms of size, but is typical of so many hospitals around the country serving regional areas. It is becoming increasingly clear that the typical patient in the many hospital like MJH are going to typically expect wristband barcoding safety measures. After all, they’ve seen it and heard about it on television; it doesn’t sound very complicated; and, in these various on-air reports no one is disputing the benefits or complaining about costs or inconveniences. It is good enough for checking out everything else, why isn’t it good enough to check out the right patient for the right medication?