New Technologies Top Survey

Published Online: Monday, March 1, 2004

Bar-code scanning systems were rated the most effective way to prevent medication errors, according to a telephone survey of 1020 adults. The latest AmerisourceBergen Index showed that 39% of respondents chose bar-code systems, compared with 25% selecting computerized physician order entry. Another 15% reported as their top choice greater use of automated technologies to count pills and check prescriptions before they are dispensed. Of the 1020 respondents, 13% said that all 3 of these methods were the "best way" to reduce medication errors.

When asked whether the government should require hospitals to adopt new technologies if they have been proven to reduce medication errors, 75% of the respondents agreed. These technologies also scored very well in a question regarding what would have the most impact on patient safety. The results showed that technologies that reduce the potential for human error by verifying and checking medications nearly tied with the top choice?hiring more doctors and nurses.

Health information from the Internet was another survey topic. A little under one third of the respondents said that they used the Internet to get more information after receiving a diagnosis or medication from a physician. Electronic medical records garnered a strong response, with 62% believing that medical records should be electronic with paper backup.

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