Patient safety at Tri-City Medical Center took a leap forward recently with the introduction of a technology that makes it easier for nurses to check and log medications.
Nurses in the hospital's Intensive Care Unit were the first to use the new medication-tracking software program called CareAdmin, which allows them to check and log what drugs patients are taking.
The software program is installed on a handheld tablet that nurses can carry to the patient's bedside or load onto a docking station in the patient's room or at a portable work station right outside the room. That tablet is equipped with a barcode scanning device that allows nurses to document and verify what medicine patients are being given, thus reducing the risk of the wrong medication being given to the wrong patient.
The tablets also are more convenient for nurses; rather than gathering the information at bedside and then returning to the nurses' station to log it in, that information is instantly available at bedside. It's a feature that doctors love, too.
"It's a really nifty tool that nurses can take with them," said Jane Morgan, RN MBA, clinical manager of the ICU.
Morgan said it was a "huge upgrade" over the previous system, which required more steps and left more room for error.
The handheld tablets are "so easy and clean and neat," she said, and they "didn't take a lot of training. It was really very intuitive."
The tablets also are being used in the Mother-Baby and Neonatal Intensive Care Units. The hospital intends to distribute 124 of the handheld record-keeping tablets to all units by the end of May, said Mark Facuri, director of information technology.
The units have a camera function, though it is not yet active, and the goal is to add a phone so the nurse can continue to update doctors and family members as he or she tends to the patient.