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Bar Code Wristband System Reduces Information Systems Errors by 30 Percent at Houston Healthcare

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Bar Code Wristband System Reduces Information Systems Errors by 30 Percent at Houston Healthcare

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Laura Davis
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San Fernando, CA (February 6, 2006) – Precision Dynamics Corporation, a global leader in automatic wristband identification, announces the successful implementation of its automated bar code system for glucose testing to reduce information systems errors in the emergency department (ED) triage at Houston Healthcare (GA). The point-of-care bar code system consists of PDC ScanBand® Wristbands, bar code printers, handheld glucose meters and a Laboratory Information System (LIS).
 
Prior to using PDC’s Bar Code Wristband System, Houston Healthcare utilized a manual ID process in which two standard patient identifiers (patient name and account number) were handwritten on patients’ wristbands when entering the ED triage. Illegibility of handwritten data and occasions in which account numbers were keyed incorrectly led to information system errors.
 
“We needed to implement an automated, streamlined process that would eliminate the human error of handwriting armbands and manually keying in the patient identifiers on the glucose meter,” says Beth  Benefield, Executive Director of Information Technology and Imaging Services. “With this new system, nursing and lab personnel no longer have to manually key in the patient’s account number. This allows them more time for patient care. The bar coding also gives our information systems accurate data automatically for charting in the patients medical record and to appropriately bill the patient’s account.”
 
During the first three months of implementation, Houston Healthcare reduced information systems errors by 30 percent using the PDC system. “The new bar code system has been a great benefit. Instances of human error with the manual patient ID process have practically been eliminated using bar code wristbands at a very reasonable cost,” Benefield adds. “I believe that we’ve received very positive ROI for a relatively minimal investment of less than $10,000.”
 
The new system is quicker, easier to use and measurably more accurate than the former manual system. Upon entering the ED triage, each patient is banded with a PDC Bar Code ScanBand. For patients needing glucose testing, the hand held glucose reader scans the bar code on the wristband, the patient account number is automatically identified on the meter and information is then downloaded into the MEDITECH LIS. Benefield estimates that at least two minutes are saved per patient, per nurse using the new bar code system. With an average of 200 patients triaged in the ED per day, over six and a half hours are saved in identifying patients for glucose testing – important time for treating patients.
 
Houston Healthcare is an example of a community hospital that is using bar code technology to improve the accuracy of patient information at a low cost: “Houston Healthcare’s new bar code wristband system allows nurses and laboratory staff to focus their time on what they do best – treating patients. Instances of human error which are common with a manual patient ID process are practically eliminated using bar code wristbands, and at a very reasonable cost,” said Ramona Douglass, Sr. Bar Code Manager at PDC.
 
Initially the bar code system at Houston Healthcare aims to reduce information systems errors during glucose testing, and will be enhanced to include hospital-wide patient identification procedures in the near future.
 

About Houston Healthcare

 
Houston Healthcare is a health care system, committed to quality and service excellence, located in Warner Robins and Perry, Georgia, including Houston Medical Center (186 beds), Perry Hospital (45 beds), Houston Heart Institute, Houston Health Pavilion and other outpatient facilities. Houston Healthcare is fully accredited by the Joint Commission on Accreditation for Healthcare Organizations, licensed by the Georgia Department of Human Resources and certified by the Georgia Department of Human Resources and U.S. Department of Health and Human Services. For more information, visit www.hhc.org.
 

About Precision Dynamics

 
With 50 years of experience, PDC is the global leader and pacesetter in the development of automatic identification wristband systems for healthcare, patron management and law enforcement. The company introduced the first patient Bar Code ID Wristband System in 1984, Smart Band® Radio Frequency Identification (RFID) Wristband System in 2000, and AgeBand® Electronic Age/ID Verification System in 2004. PDC is committed to 100% quality in service, design and manufacturing. This is substantiated by their ISO-9001:2000 and ISO-13485:2003 certification at their main facility in San Fernando, CA. For more information, visit www.pdcorp.com.
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