Every patient, every medication, every time
Bedside scanning at Virginia Mason reaches 95%
Virginia Mason Medical Center is known for its use of the Kaizen methodology to improve safety and efficiency across the organization. One recent example of quality-improvement activity was related to barcode medication administration.
The combined effort of the Virginia Mason team and McKesson using structured performance-improvement methodologies enabled us to maximize manufacturer unit-dose purchases and optimize how we address doses that require repackaging or relabeling. The team established an efficient way to create a ‘barcode strategy’ for each line item we dispense.
— Roger Woolf, Administrative Director of Pharmacy Services
Virginia Mason realized that, regardless of how sophisticated the technology is, a key driver for high bedside scan rates is an easy-to-scan barcode on all medication dispensed from the pharmacy. Unfortunately, they were only able to secure 72% of oral solid medications in barcoded unit-dose packaging from commercial sources. They also realized there was substantial effort to verify each product’s barcode validity.
Virginia Mason employed Kaizen principles and engaged its supply chain partner, McKesson, to address these issues. The team mapped the medication flow from manufacturers to bedside. Analytics were utilized to optimize manufacturer-ready barcoded medication, which yielded a 15% improvement. Non-commercially available items are either outsourced to a third-party repackager or repackaged in-house; in the end, only 6.5% of doses are repackaged in-house. The workflow analysis provided a decision tree that could be applied to each item, resulting in double-digit improvement for the in-house repackaging process. Learn more »
The team established a “barcode formulary” to make the ordering process more efficient, and a quality-assurance scan to verify a medication is synchronized with barcode scanning technology. Items outside the formulary are quarantined upon receipt for barcode verification and repackaging/relabeling to ensure barcode readability. The efforts reduced the mismatched NDC rate by 75% and increased scan rates at the bedside from 75% to 95%.
- Industry News