Barcode-Enabled Liquid Dosage Dispense Preparation Process May Improve Safety, Quality of Pharmacy Services


Implementing a barcode scanning product verification system for oral syringe dosage forms improves the safety and quality of pharmacy services, according to a case study presented at the American Society of Health-System Pharmacists’ Midyear 2021 conference. Although barcode scanning during product verification has greatly improved the safety of medication dispensing operations, many products aren’t easily incorporated into traditional dose preparation processes, including medications manually dispensed in oral syringes, according to the study.

In order to implement barcode scanning preparation and verification steps into the existing oral syringe preparation process, an electronic software system was used to create dispense preparation steps. This allowed pharmacy staff to barcode scan stock medication containers for individually dispensed doses. The process involved repurposing 2 desktop PC workstations to create a dedicated oral syringe preparation area. Medication orders were prepared both as timed batches and as individual orders, with each order printing an individual label with an included barcode.

To begin the preparation process, a label is scanned to bring up the order details on the computer. Next, the product stock bottle must be accurately scanned before labeling the patient-specific dose and completing the preparation step.

A warning message is displayed if an incorrect stock bottle is scanned, indicating the error and preventing users from advancing. Medications are prepared in groups according to which stock bottle is used for each syringe, and syringes are then placed in a container with the stock bottle. Following the completion of dose preparation, a pharmacist checks the final product for accuracy by scanning the order-specific label and performing a visual inspection prior to medication dispensing.

According to the study data, using an electronic barcode scanning preparation system for liquid syringe dose preparation resulted in an overall dose preparation compliance rate of 96.4%. Further, dispense checking compliance increased from 52.2% to 98.3% following the implementation of the system.


Jones N, Bhakta SB. Implementation of a barcode enabled liquid dosage dispense preparation process. Presented at: ASHP Midyear 2021. Accessed December 7, 2021.

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