Improving Hospital-Based Medication Administration Using NFC

By Doug

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Harvard Medical School teaching affiliate Brigham and Women’s Hospital (BWH) is testing a Near Field Communication (NFC) RFID system it developed that enables health-care staff members to manage the administration of medication at a patient’s bedside. Nurses currently use a computer and a bar-code scanner to administer medications to patients in the hospital. Using this bar-code-based electronic medication administration and reconciliation (e-MAR) system has been shown to reduce medication errors and potential adverse drug events, and is now a requirement for hospitals to qualify for U.S. Department of Health and Human Services health information technology (HIT) incentive payments. However, current e-MAR systems use computers on wheels that can be cumbersome, as well as bar-code scanners that often require multiple scans. Therefore, the firm developed a solution consisting of a Google Nexus 7 tablet and a software application that interprets NFC tag data regarding medications, patients’ wristbands and nurses ID badges, confirming the correct medication and the right dose is administered to the proper patient, through the correct route, at the right time. Learn the results of a pilot study evaluating the efficiency and usability of the NFC e-MAR system compared with a traditional bar-code-based e-MAR solution. And hear the challenges that must be overcome for NFC technology to be broadly applied to e-MAR.