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Mon Mar 13, 2017, 08:50 AM

Alabama engineering student helps hospital avoid medicine mixups

Most of us have been in this situation. You're in the hospital for surgery or illness, or you've taken a family member there, bringing along a bag full of pill bottles or a list of daily prescriptions.

Sometimes you forget, and the hospital has to go by its own records or pull from a database from local pharmacies.

It's critical that the doctors know exactly what you've been taking and what you need to take during your hospital stay.

"It can be confusing for the nurses," who are in charge of making sure the medicine list is accurate, said Kory Kasey, an intern in the quality department at Marshall Medical Centers in Marshall County.

more at the link: http://www.al.com/opinion/index.ssf/2017/03/alabama_engineering_student_he.html#incart_river_home

This is fantastic. Medication mixups are a very real issue in hospitals, especially if a patient is non responsive. Hopefully, this will be further developed and more hospitals adopt this. If it saves time, it also saves money and can help the nurses be more efficient.

11 replies, 183 views

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Reply Alabama engineering student helps hospital avoid medicine mixups (Original post)
Boadicea Mar 13 OP
rampartb Mar 13 #1
nolens volens Mar 13 #2
Boadicea Mar 13 #3
GordieG Mar 13 #4
Ravenquills Mar 13 #5
His Daughter Mar 13 #6
Boadicea Mar 13 #7
His Daughter Mar 13 #8
Boadicea Mar 13 #9
His Daughter Mar 13 #10
Ravenquills Mar 14 #11

Response to Boadicea (Original post)

Mon Mar 13, 2017, 08:57 AM

1. the hospitals i've been in have been great at this

i give them a list of current meds but they have provided what i am given at pill time. inevitably they adjust my insulin based on frequent glucose testing.

every pill has a bar code and my wristband is scanned as well.

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Response to Boadicea (Original post)

Mon Mar 13, 2017, 09:04 AM

2. Anything

that reduces the death toll from errors is a good thing, mistakes in medicine are the third leading cause of death in the US with 250,000 deaths estimated in each of the past few years....my wife is heavily involved from a programming standpoint with systems that double check everything, but those systems are only as good as the people using them....

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Response to nolens volens (Reply #2)

Mon Mar 13, 2017, 09:12 AM

3. Yes. If it can help save lives, I am all for it.

Every year, the hospital that my docs see patients at, releases a report on things that have improved and need to be improved. Patient errors are always in need of improvement.

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Response to Boadicea (Original post)

Mon Mar 13, 2017, 09:42 AM

4. This exists already. Unfortunately, hospitals and health care groups don't communication well.

Crossing these boundaries would be the next, big step.

Thumbs up for this kid filling a local need.

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Response to Boadicea (Original post)

Mon Mar 13, 2017, 11:50 AM

5. "database of patient prescriptions from local pharmacies"

I just hope that my confidentiality is well protected. What database is this and who has access to it? I suspect this is the same database that the DEA is using to ensure that people are not buying ephedrine to make meth or that pain pills are not being over prescribed ( not that it has worked out too well for them) .....Not be the fly in the ointment but this is a privacy concern for me I think it is great idea i just think we need to find a way to get doctors pharmacies and hospitals communicating but without government being involved. lets be brutally honest the government's ability to keep your data private does not have a good record.

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Response to Boadicea (Original post)

Mon Mar 13, 2017, 12:19 PM

6. Medic Alerts are critical if you want to live

A key point that just about everyone should have is a medic alert tag if they are on any medicine or a concealed medical condition (diabetes, cardiac…).

The neck medallion is a minimum. Make sure it has the red symbol visible on it. They run around $40 IIRC. Also, they should have a red metal credit card ($15) in their wallets engraved with details, doctors, etc. On the back TAPE A LIST OF YOUR MEDS. They change often enough that engraving them is not a good idea. With that I can do a much better job of saving your life when you come in unconscious with no history.

Another thought is the police need to see it too. If a cop finds you drooling in the mall due to blood sugar issues they will not call EMS first. However, if you took your medallion out from underneath your shirt before you went down so they can see it, they will call for a Code 3 EMS response. I don’t blame the police for that, they see a lot more passed out drunks and drug users than diabetics. Help them help you.

You may now return to your political name calling.

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Response to His Daughter (Reply #6)

Mon Mar 13, 2017, 12:25 PM

7. Yes, medic alert tags are a must if you take meds and have chronic conditions.

Anything that can help people help you when you are unable to articulate is vital. When my boy starts going out on his own, he will be required to wear one(he doesn't want to though.)

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Response to Boadicea (Reply #7)

Mon Mar 13, 2017, 12:40 PM

8. Best setup I have seen was a dogtag medallion

engraved front and back name, birth date, primary medical issues. Said to look in the wallet for a card
Card was 100% text (more room). Conditions, dates, doctors. Back had the medication list. Saved the patient's life.

The only thing you might want to consider is not using a bead chain. It annoys the skin with some people. There are other alternatives. Avoid leather or paracord since it will not break away should it get caught on something.

What is his medical condition if you don't mind sharing?

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Response to His Daughter (Reply #8)

Mon Mar 13, 2017, 12:48 PM

9. He has epilepsy and Asperger's.

He had a rare allergic reaction to the flumist in 2013, which caused him to have a seizure about 20 minutes after ingesting it. He then had 5 additional seizures over the course of 3 months. He is about 2 1/2 years seizure free now. He doesn't want to wear a tag because he doesn't like to be reminded that he has epilepsy....He takes depakote, so EMS would need to know that. He's starting to drive now, so he will just have to deal with a tag of some sort on his person.

I want to add, one of my son's teachers is a type one diabetic. He has diabetes tattooed on his hand. He said that he could lose tags, notes, wallets, etc so he tattooed him self. I thought that was pretty cool. IT would not work for everyone though.

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Response to Boadicea (Reply #9)

Mon Mar 13, 2017, 03:17 PM

10. Ink is a bit radical

And a cop might not see it, but I see his point.

We had a staff member go down on one of the floors at work. No one had a clue about her medical conditions. Damn near lost her over that. Not on my watch, but I am not sure I would have done things much differently. No medallion and no one knew a thing...and that was a medical professional.

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Response to His Daughter (Reply #6)

Tue Mar 14, 2017, 06:47 PM

11. As the partner of a type 1 diabetic

I can attest to this. Low blood sugar looks a lot like DRUNK OFF YOUR ASS!

I have to see if i can talk him into a medallion he will not wear a bracelet and i worry that if i am not with him they will through no fault of their own let him die.

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