SGMC improves patient safety - WALB.com, Albany News, Weather, Sports

SGMC improves patient safety

April 9, 2007

Valdosta - South Georgia Medical Center in Valdosta is purchasing a state of the art system they hope will increase patient safety by reducing medication errors.  "Our drugs are all scattered out and a manual pick and we've been allowed to purchase a robot as well as a med carousel to store our medications in," says SGMC Pharmacist Cindy Vickery.

They will do this through a bar-code scanning technology, only used in about 25 percent of hospitals nation wide.

It's called Pharmacy Automation and it scans both patients and pills for safety.

Nurses will be given hand held devices to scan the barcode on the medication and the patient's wristband, allowing them to match the prescription and dosage.

A robotic drug distribution system will also be placed in the hospitals pharmacy to package, store, and retrieve medications.

They say this unique technology will help eliminate human error.  "A lot of things are hand written now and handwriting is hard to determine particularly with numbers and decimal points sometimes," says Bob Foster, Director of Information Services.

The multi-million dollar technology will take about 18 months to install and up to 40 months before being implemented throughout the hospital.

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