Barcode Scanning Errors, a Threat to Patient Safety
MedSun: Newsletter #58, March 2011

AACC Clinical Laboratory News

Hospitals and other healthcare providers are relying more than ever before on barcodes for identification and tracking of patients, medications, orders, and equipment. Compared with manual data-entry error rates of one error per 300 entry events, the practice of using barcodes to rapidly link patient information to the laboratory information system is thought to be essentially error proof. Despite the improved efficiency and accuracy of barcode-based identification, a recent report demonstrates that linear barcode identification methods are not fail-safe and misidentification of patient specimens can still occur.

MedSun has received similar reports with barcode-based products. To read these events, please see the links provided in Additional Information below.

Additional Information:

AACC Clinical Laboratory News. Barcode Scanning Errors, a Threat to Patient Safety. January 2011.

MedSun Report. January 7, 2009.

MedSun Report. June 23, 2009.

MedSun Report. October 22, 2008.

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