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Medication dispensing system might reduce medication errors

Many people who are admitted into the hospital assume that the medical professionals assigned to their care can provide the necessary care to help them overcome their condition. While this is what happens in most cases, there are other cases in which the medical staff doesn't provide the necessary care due to medical negligence or other errors. For patients who are admitted into Kentucky's King's Daughters Medical Center's intensive care unit, a new station might reduce the incidence of medication errors.

The ICU currently used at the medical center was built in 2000. It has a host of features, such as external access, that are aimed at providing improved patient care. One of the major innovations that might help medical staff to properly care for patients is the introduction of a Pyxis MedStation. This system is one of more than 100 used by the hospital. It is about the size of a filing cabinet and requires an authorized nurse to use it. It is accessed through thumbprint recognition software that helps to keep the drugs locked away securely.

The drugs in the machine are kept in compartmentalized drawers. Each compartment houses a different medication. When the nurse scans a patient's wristband and the bar code on the medication, the two are checked to ensure the medication and dosage are accurate. If they are incorrect, an alarm sounds.

While this system is designed to reduce the number of medication errors, there is no such thing as a foolproof system. Anyone who has been the victim of a medication error or any form of medical malpractice might have the right to seek compensation. Understanding your rights and responsibilities might make it easier to move through the process.

Source: The Independent Online, "Behind the scenes at KDMC" Mike James, Feb. 22, 2014

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