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NEPS Positive Patient ID Solutions Help Reduce Hospital Medication Errors for Children and Adults

Health e-Connectâ„¢ uses barcodes to ensure accurate pharmaceutical delivery for safe and error-free medical treatment

NEPS LLC, a leading provider of communications management software and services focused on the financial, insurance and health care industries, today reported that its positive patient identification solutions, including Health e-Connect, are having a positive impact on healthcare institutions as they work to improve patient safety. Health e-Connect is NEPS’ suite of solutions for the healthcare industry, designed to help hospitals and other healthcare operations make the best use of precious time and scarce funding in the delivery of excellence in patient care through increased efficiency at patient touch points as well as through the enhancement of back office operations.

“With all of the recent publicity about the rising incidence of errors in healthcare delivery, particularly as it relates to children’s medications, healthcare institutions are increasingly aware that today’s technologies provide the means for the virtual elimination of these types of human errors,” said William C. Lowe, CEO, NEPS. “Medication errors harm as many as one out of 15 hospitalized children, or more than half a million children per year, according to recent news reports and a study published in the April issue of the journal Pediatrics. NEPS solutions help to eliminate these devastating errors by integrating with hospital information systems to enable healthcare delivery organizations to produce a wide range of bar-coded items, from employee badges to patient IDs and pharmaceutical labels, for validation of the accuracy of the medication administration process.”

Since 2004, the Joint Commission on the Accreditation of Healthcare Organizations (JCAHO) has identified improving the accuracy of patient identification as its number one goal. According to the Agency for Healthcare Research and Quality’s Medical Errors: The Scope of the Problem, nearly 2.4 million prescription errors occur annually in the U.S., and nearly 100,000 patients die because of medication errors every year. While errors can occur anywhere in the process, from ordering and transcribing to dispensing and administering medications, the California Healthcare Foundation reports that 50% to 75% of those errors occur during the administration of medications. To address this situation, progressive healthcare facilities are adopting Electronic Medical Administration Reporting (EMAR) systems and barcode and photo ID systems for positive patient identification and medication administration verification to minimize medication administration errors.

Using NEPS Positive Patient ID solutions, healthcare professionals, using a standard barcode scanner device, scan the patient wristband, the barcoded pharmaceutical label and their own ID badge. The visible screen on the barcode scanner, which is electronically connected to the Hospital Information System, confirms a successful scan and reveals barcode information in human-readable form. Patient photos can also be printed on wristbands as an extra safety measure, using NEPS Picture Perfect. Errors, if any, are immediately identified and prevent administration of the wrong medication or dose, significantly improving patient safety.

“The key to positive patient identification lies in the wristband that the patient puts on at the time of admission,” added Lowe. “The primary means of identifying a patient during his or her hospital stay, the wristband must be durable, legible, and comfortable, whether it uses barcodes, photos, or other technologies to capture and display patient information, and NEPS Health e-Connect makes it easy for Hospitals to produce these on demand, on-site.” Currently, the most cost effective means of storing patient information on a wristband is through the use of barcodes. These symbols can be placed on the wristband in multiple locations and in multiple formats, offering instant access to patient records while protecting patient privacy.