Quality improvement is a team effort. The most effective quality interventions happen with team communication, collaboration and commitment to patient safety. The UF Health Jacksonville Medication Safety Team understands the importance of this type of teamwork among departments when identifying and implementing new medication-safety initiatives.
Over the past several years, the Medication Safety Team has been using technology as a quality improvement tool throughout the hospital. Barcoding technology involves a handheld scanner that identifies the patient and the medication using the patient armband and the medication-barcoded label, respectively. Pharmacy, Information Technology Services and Nursing have added barcode technology to the patient bedside. This has improved the safety and accuracy of medication dispensing, especially with sound-alike and look-alike medications.
To further improve patient safety, the team added automated medication-dispensing cabinets and smart IV pump technology. Each has detection and prevention features to help the nurse dispense medications more effectively and safely.