Many of us see a lot of promise in the future of patient bedside barcoding. There’s no question it will prevent a lot of medication errors and drive further developments in electronic medical records, just to name a couple of benefits. But can there be a perfect solution in any approach that relies on people to never make a mistake while implementating an automated process or procedure? In the UK last weekend, two newborn baby girls were given to the wrong set of parents. The girls were born about an hour apart. How did it happen?
The hospital said staff in the labour room had followed procedures, presenting the babies to their mothers to confirm their gender and other characteristics. Afterwards, the staff put the handwritten identification bracelets on the babies’ wrists and sent them separately to the postnatal ward for further treatment… The hospital has set up a panel to conduct an investigation, and suspects the postnatal ward staff might not have accurately checked the babies’ identities and wrongly put on the two dimensional barcode identification bands on the babies’ ankles.
The full story is here if you wish to know more.