Medication administration is a critical component of healthcare delivery. Yet, hospitals face pressure to increase productivity, despite chronic staffing shortages, which significantly raises the risk of error.

Nurses and pharmacists require a more streamlined mobile experience than traditional methods allow. Administrators need rapid onboarding, and IT teams, a solution that integrates seamlessly with the technology stack.

A high-performance software scanning solution based on smart data capture technology reduces friction while boosting visibility, efficiency and effectiveness.

This guide highlights ways in which smartphones and smart devices enabled with smart data capture eliminate medication administration risks and facilitate compliance with barcode medication administration (BCMA) processes.

Optimize the onboarding experience

Let’s start right at the beginning, when a nurse, pharmacist, or healthcare worker receives a new device to assist them on the job. Saving time and effort at this stage is a boon to administrators and staff alike.

First, nurses and staff are already familiar with smart devices, as they use smartphones on the personal front, and/or have been provided with a work-issued device. Further, onboarding is even faster and easier with augmented reality (AR) based information overlays, which speeds up training, eliminates stress, and improves the healthcare professional’s productivity.

Smart data capture enabled smartphones put the entire process on a single, familiar, multi-use device — one that’s hospital-issued and easily slips into a nurse’s pocket. Unlike dedicated scanning devices that nurses must maneuver throughout their day. Sometimes carting them on workstations on wheels (WoWs) between or within patients’ rooms.

Speed up productivity with superfast scanning

As you’ve seen in the video above, dedicated scanners aren’t alway the smartest scanning option for healthcare professionals. Scandit Smart Data Capture on smart devices provides superfast scanning – allowing nurses to administer medication on time, every time, by:

  • Delivering 480 scans per minute, easily matching the reliability and accuracy of hardware scanners even in unfavorable environments.
  • Offering superfast, multiple barcode scanning in a single sequence with MatrixScan, which is 3x times faster than dedicated devices.
  • Providing AR capabilities that put critical medication information at the user’s fingertips.

Search and find medication with barcode scanning

Prioritize patient satisfaction

Patient wristbands are a critical patient touchpoint and part of nearly every scanning sequence. However, their curved, shiny surfaces can be difficult to scan with dedicated devices, and low light exacerbates this limitation – resulting in misscans.

As nurses have to move the patient’s wrist in a low-light environment, perhaps scanning multiple times before getting it right, or disturbing the patient by turning on the lights.

Smart data capture accurately scans under these conditions. It is non-intrusive, enables scanning from a distance, which eliminates errors and improves patient satisfaction:

  • Especially when there’s no need to disturb patients if they are asleep or drowsy due to medication or a surgical procedure.
  • For visually or hearing impaired individuals, or patents with neurodegenerative disorders for whom communication is difficult.

Healthcare Patient Identification

AR-enabled medication administration

Speed and accuracy is of essence here.

Identification: AR capabilities help identify the medications nurses and pharmacy staff need quickly and accurately.

Delivery: Smart data capture ensures that healthcare professionals have instant access to expiration dates, patient-specific dosage instructions, allergy information, and other critical updates through AR displays — by leveraging and enhancing the power and convenience of today’s smart consumer devices.

Safer scanning for tighter protocols

Medication packaging comes in many forms, which can pose any number of scanning challenges, including curved, highly reflective surfaces and small barcodes. Moreover, healthcare providers have to contend with numerous challenges when scanning: including curved patient wristbands, reflective blood and IV bags, darkened patient rooms, and more.

Smart data capture technology based scanning easily outperforms dedicated scanners to overcome these challenges. See how it works in the video below:

Healthcare providers must also keep careful track of multiple data points for every medication, including patient name, dosage, contraindications, and expiration dates. BCMA automates the process of verifying medications by scanning the barcodes on the medication and the patient identification wristband to assist nurses in confirming the ‘five rights:” right patient, right medication, right dose, right route, and right time.

However, a recent study suggests that BCMA is limited by technological constraints, including low laptop battery, system lags, and freezing, and malfunctioning or unavailable barcode scanners. Nurses also found the WoWs unwieldy to maneuver and operate. All of these issues slowed the process and led to deviations from established protocols.

By tracking expiration dates, healthcare providers ensure that drugs are dispensed in the right order, with the earliest to expire being used first. Smart device scanning offers pharmaceutical dispensaries the ability to capture and track this data to ensure the safety and efficacy of the products they dispense.

Also, pharmacies and medical warehouses have hard-to-reach shelves with multiple products on each. Smart data capture can scan from a distance and use AR to quickly reveal the correct item among multiple items.

Future-ready for compliance and continuity

Although it came into effect nearly a decade ago, the U.S. Drug Supply Chain Security Act (DSCSA) will be fully phased in by 2023. This means any organization that manufactures, distributes, or sells pharmaceuticals, whether on shelves, over the counter, or dispensed, must be fully compliant with DSCSA regulations for electronically identifying and tracing prescription drugs throughout the U.S. supply chain — a use case ideally suited to smart data capture technology on smart devices.

Scandit Smart Data Capture provides a flexible, future-ready solution that scales with growing healthcare needs, and evolves as new technologies or use cases arise. In ensuring DSCSA compliance and business continuity, it reduces errors and maintains an accurate view of what is where at any given time, to:

Provide end-to-end supply chain visibility to accurately scan labels and ids on drugs, capturing real-time data at the point of dispatch, receipt, use, and disposal ensuring their complete visibility across the supply chain.

Improve detection and removal of unsafe drugs such as counterfeit, contaminated, expired, and stolen medicines reducing the risk of serious health threats.

Promote pharmaceutical traceability by scanning medication straight into a pharmacy management system capturing data such as quantities, serial numbers, expiration dates, and lot or batch numbers.

The scanning software can also integrate with automated dispensing devices and pharmacy management systems by inputting drugs directly into inventory according to substance type, allowing for automatic tracking and inventory count.

Using familiar platforms such as Android and iOS, scanning-enabled mobile apps and the devices they run on are continually evolving to better address the demands of healthcare providers. This allows for more flexibility in the future to strengthen the solution through updates or added capabilities, such as deploying AR technology to speed up medication administration.

And, with constant research and development under way for both software and hardware, you’re not limited to a single mobile solution manufacturer or software vendor, avoiding lock-in that can stifle your access to innovation.

Take the first step to eliminate medication administration risks by getting in touch with us here.

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