By John Oncea, Digital Editorial Director
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While a majority of hospitals use barcode scanning and mobile printing systems, many are not using the technology to its full potential. With newer, more innovative mobile applications now available in the marketplace, hospital clinicians and technicians across all departments are being empowered to improve the quality of patient care and enhance workflow efficiency. One type of mobile technology that has proven especially valuable is software systems using barcoded labels and patient wristbands to authenticate both specimen and patient ID at the point of care.
In this Q&A, Ravi Panjwani, VP Marketing and Product Management Brother Mobile Solutions, describes how one West Coast hospital deployed a simple patient identification and verification application in its Neonatal Intensive Care Unit (NICU) to help immediately improve neonatal safety. The innovative Mother’s Milk application was developed by Rapid Healthcare and uses Brother TrustSense™ wristband and label printer. The Mother’s Milk application ensures every bottle feeding given to one of the NICU’s premature infants is the right match, as verified at the actual point of care. Panjwani explains how the Mother’s Milk system works and why this kind of application is so critical to the hospital’s NICU.
Q: In general, how do mobile patient ID and verification solutions serve to enhance patient safety and reduce regulatory compliance risk in hospitals?
Panjwani: Patient identification and authentication solutions using on-demand wristband and label printers help to ensure optimal accuracy and patient safety at all points of care — from the admissions desk and ER, to a rolling cart at the patient bedside, to the pharmacy, blood lab, diagnostic lab, and surgical suite. These relatively simple, wireless mobile systems enable clinicians to administer care where it is needed, saving time and reducing the risk of misidentification and interruptions that can lead to human error. Verifying clear, legible human- and machine-readable data, both barcodes and text, from both the patient wristband and the drug or sample label helps to ensure accurate patient ID as required by The Joint Commissions (JCAHCO) regulations and the five rights of patients: the right patient, right drug, right dose, right route, and right time.