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September 15, 2005

UPMC expands patient ID system

The Positive Patient Identification (PPID) system, which is expected to revolutionize health care by helping to reduce medical errors, has been implemented across all inpatient units at UPMC South Side Hospital. This will be the first time PPID has been used in an emergency department in the UPMC system.

PPID uses bar code technology to ensure the “five rights” of medication administration: that the right patient receives the right dose of the right medication by the right route at the right time. Bar codes are placed on employee badges, patient wristbands and dosage packets.

These bar codes are scanned by the nurse at the time of medication administration to verify that all five rights of medication administration are being met. PPID allows caregivers to administer medications safely at the patient bedside using innovative technology such as hand-held, wall-mounted and desktop PCs, as well as mobile medication carts equipped with wireless PCs.

A study of PPID use in medication administration across all inpatient units at UPMC Presbyterian resulted in a 55 percent decrease in the medication error rate and 98.6 percent compliance with the patient identification/medication administration process six months post-implementation.

According to Nancy Magee, president of UPMC South Side, PPID also will be used in same- day surgery and the respiratory therapy departments of that facility. The PPID rollout at UPMC Montefiore and UPMC Presbyterian was completed in May.

PPID is a key component of the UPMC eRecord Program and is scheduled to be implemented at Magee-Womens Hospital and UPMC Shadyside during fiscal year 2006.

Filed under: Feature,Volume 38 Issue 2

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