St. John’s Medical Center’s new Paragon Medication Administration
point-of-care application will help hospital caregivers improve patient
safety and prevent medication errors. The system, planned to be deployed
by May 9, allows nurses to use a handheld bar code scanning device that
verifies the “five rights”: right patient, right drug, right
dose, right route, and right time). It also provides an online clinical
flow sheet with the patient’s vital signs, medication profile, administration,
medical history, and care comments. “Not only will the implementation
of Paragon Medication Administration help us comply with government regulations,
more importantly it will ensure that we continually reduce the possibility
of errors and improve patient care,” says Gary Trauner, Chief Operating Officer.
This system will help nurses at St. John’s prevent medication errors by:
• Providing warnings and alerts before nurses give a patient medication
• Scanning a three-way, bar-coded match of the nurse’s ID badge,
patient’s ID and the medication
• Gathering real-time information in an accurate and legible medication
administration record that all the patient’s caregivers can access
• Freeing nurses from manual paperwork so they can spend more time
on patient care
Paragon Medication Administration offers many benefits for St. John’s
health care providers and patients. First, by ensuring the “five
rights,” it helps protect against medication errors. It also fosters
patient safety by delivering real-time alerts and warnings for new, changed,
or cancelled medication orders. It improves communication among the health
care team and interfaces with pharmacy, physician, nursing and automation
solutions. It also improves documentation required by regulatory agencies.
Deploying the Paragon Medication Administration system is one of the hospital’s
initial objectives under the Health Information Technology for Economic
and Clinical Health (HITECH) Act, which was enacted in 2009 as part of
the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act.
Under HITECH, eligible health care professionals and hospitals can qualify
for Medicare and Medicaid incentive payments when they adopt certified
Electronic Health Record technology and use it to achieve specified objectives.
St. John’s Medical Center is deploying Paragon Medication Administration
as an initial objective in meeting that goal.