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Like no other industry, Healthcare has experienced an explosion in technology that affects and improves both the doctor’s ability to provide care, and the patient’s knowledge and response to treatment. Technology that was once science fiction is now common place with tools like: external vision systems that present three dimensional images of inside the body; micro surgery that minimizes invasiveness and speeds recovery; micro transducers that provide real time diagnostics from within the body. The list of advancements grows daily. While these advances lead healthcare diagnostic technology, more fundamental systems such as patient records management and prescription administration have lagged far behind.
The Federal Government enacted legislation aimed at increasing the efficiency of the healthcare system by requiring the implementation of Electronic Health Records (EHR). A leading regional healthcare organization in Baltimore, LifeBridge Health, has implemented Electronic Health Records systems and taken the added step to implement bar code technology at the patient point of care. LifeBridge Health consists of Sinai Hospital of Baltimore, Northwest Hospital, Levindale Hebrew Geriatric Center and Hospital, Courtland Gardens Nursing & Rehabilitation Center and their subsidiaries and affiliated units. LifeBridge Health is one of the largest, most comprehensive, and most highly respected providers of healthcare in the Baltimore region.
At Sinai Hospital, Clinical Information Systems Manager, Al Broomfield, was interested in making clinical systems more efficient, but like all LifeBridge Health employees, patient care was his first priority. In looking for a handheld bar code scanner for clinical use, his team wanted to be sure it fit their clinical applications. “The ability to sanitize the bar code scanner was very important” said Broomfield. Scanners are placed on ‘Computer on Wheels’ Carts that move from room to room and are also installed on computers in hospital rooms. In both applications, it is critically important that scanners be disinfected for patient safety. LifeBridge Health wanted to be sure the bar code scanners they implemented would help keep their patients safe from Hospital Acquired Infections (HAI) by requiring the units survive the use of disinfectant cleaners.
LifeBridge selected Datalogic’s Gryphon™ linear imagers which are specially designed for the Healthcare industry. Gryphon imagers are manufactured with Anti-Microbial additives that impede the growth of organisms. They are also Disinfectant-Ready; the housing is designed to withstand daily cleaning, regardless of how harsh the cleaning solutions are, without becoming brittle. Cleaning products include wipes containing isopropyl alcohol; CaviWipes, which contain isopropanol, ether and ethylene glycol monobutyl; Hepacide Quat II, a virucidal disinfectant; Sani-Cloth wipes, which contain a quaternary ammonium chloride solution; Windex; Clorox bleach; and 409 glass and surface cleaner; all of which will not damage the Gryphon scanner.
The implementation of bar code technology with disinfectant-ready scanners at the point of care in hospitals increases efficiency, but more importantly it increases the quality of care. When administering prescriptions to patients, nurses are asked to verify the Five Patient Rights: Right Patient, Right Order, Right Drug, Right Route and Right Time.
Prior to electronic systems, verification of these rights was done manually, which are prone to human error. LifeBridge Health used the Gryphon imager to eradicate the potential for medication error by instituting an electronic verification of the Five Patient Rights.
The hospital staff relies on the clinical information system and the Gryphon imager each time medication is administered to assure accuracy. The process begins by scanning the bar code on the patient’s wrist. Once it is determined that the scanned patient is the right one, the clinical information system references the medication order for that patient. The medication to be administered has a bar code which is read to verify the right drug. The clinical information system then verifies the delivery and the time of administration. Using the Gryphon imager, all five rights are verified prior to administration of the medication.
The hospital staff values the various features offered by this device. First and foremost, it’s safe to use and precise, eliminating any possibility of error. Plus, Broomfield states “another welcome feature is the Datalogic patented Green Spot technology.” A green spot is projected on the bar code providing visual good read feedback. “The nurses really like that. They also like how it feels, how accurate it is, how quickly it picks up a 2D bar code and the cross hair technology.”
Wireless Gryphon imagers have additional features that make them easy to use. Unlike other manufacturers, Gryphon imagers do not require programming to assign them to a new base. In a hospital environment, nurses need to be able to do their job quickly, if a bar coder reader is not available, misplaced, or damaged they can’t wait for a replacement. Gryphon imagers can be moved between application points easily by docking them at the application base. When docked at the base, the linear imagers and base sync instantly, so the Gryphon imager is ready for use at any time.
To this point, over 800 Gryphon imagers have been deployed throughout the LifeBridge Health system and the company is continually expanding its use of technology to maximize the quality of care provided. Datalogic works with LifeBridge as an active partner committed to make healthcare more effective, safe and affordable.
Customer: LifeBridge Health (Sinai Hospital)
Industry/Sub-industry: Healthcare/Patient Care
Application: Patient Identification and Medication Verification
Datalogic Product: Gryphon GBT-4400 (Healthcare)
Datalogic Partner: RMS Omega