23. May 2012 15:04
The Department of Health plans to introduce barcode medicines management systems in care homes by 2014 to reduce the incidence of medication errors.
The policy was developed in response to the finding that over 50% of care home residents suffered a medication error within a three-month period.
The DH’s recent strategy document The Power of Information highlighted existing technologies for electronic checking of medicines and doses.
Following the publication of the strategy, the DH said: “It is our ambition for all care homes to use barcode medication in the future. A number of pilots are now being established to determine how this can best happen.”
The pilots will seek to incentivise the use of barcode medication administration systems such as the Pro-active Care System from Pharmacy Plus, which has been trialled by NHS Bristol.
Research by University of West Of England found that 52% of care home residents experienced a serious medication error, such as receiving another patient’s medication, in any three-month period.