If you’re not familiar with the American Society of Health-System Pharmacists (ASHP) — and especially if you are a pharmacist — you may want to check them out. They are a 35,000-member national professional association that represents pharmacists who practice in hospitals, health maintenance organizations, long-term care facilities, home care, and other components of health care systems. They came to my attention via an email from GS1 which highlighted ASHP’s online service called Drug Product Bar-Code Problem Reporting Center.
Sounds like a very good idea, doesn’t it? However, it is troubling to me that in this high technology day and age, instances of barcode mislabeling happen often enough to support the need for such a reporting center. There’s no excuse for it especially when there are barcode labeling solutions like ours. But here’s why ASHP does it and what they do with the information:
It is vital for members and others responsible for managing pharmacy information systems and pharmacy inventories to report their bar code medication problems to ASHP . . . Reports assist ASHP in learning about and assessing the extent of bar code medication issues . . . Aggregate information may be shared with the Food and Drug Administration, PhARMA, GphA, and other manufacturers to advocate for the inclusion of usable bar codes to improve patient safety.