by Christina Hwang
, Contributing Reporter | August 03, 2016
Every year, injectable medications administered in the U.S. are associated with approximately 1.2 million preventable adverse drug events.
These medical errors cost hospitals $2.7 billion to $5.1 billion in health care costs, or $600,000 per hospital.
Last week, Baxter announced that since 2008 its DoseEdge pharmacy workflow manager has alerted clinicians to more than three million potential medication preparation errors before the medication was administered to a patient.
The system — which interfaces with a hospital’s pharmacy information system — computerizes the routing, preparing, inspecting, tracing and reporting on IV and oral liquid doses.
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"The DoseEdge system is designed to enhance medication preparation safety by using automatic calculations and bar code verification of ingredients to help reduce key sources of preparation errors and promote standardized preparation steps to facilitate uniform processes among users," Terri Albarano, MS, PharmD, clinical marketing manager at Baxter, told HCB News.
"The ability to remotely inspect and approve doses may also free up pharmacists to concentrate on other clinical activities," she said.
According to the announcement, some of these errors can originate in the hospital pharmacy clean room where medications are prepared or compounded, and in which medications are mixed, combined or adjusted for a specific patient.
Between 2004 and 2011, the Institute for Safe Medication Practices had reported that serious compounding errors such as wrong concentration/strength, wrong drug or wrong solution used to dilute the drug resulted in multiple patient deaths.
“[DoseEdge] is designed to help pharmacists verify that every dose of medication they prepare is delivered in a timely, accurate and efficient manner,” said Philip Rackliffe, global franchise head of Baxter’s Integrated Pharmacy Solutions franchise, in a statement. “Since its introduction, DoseEdge has processed a total of 72 million medication doses.”