Barcode Technology & Positive Patient ID

At Children’s Hospital of Pittsburgh of UPMC, barcode technology is used to track each medication dose, procedure, and test.
eRecord and Medication

At UPMC Children's Hospital of Pittsburgh, barcode technology is used to track each medication dose, procedure, and test, all of which add to the child’s eRecord. Inpatient units contain mobile computers on wheels, or COWs, which are stocked by Pharmacy staff with patient medications. A wireless computer on the cart provides access to each child’s complete medical record.

Barcode Technology/Positive Patient IdentificationThis tracking system is called Positive Patient Identification (PPID). With PPID, every patient gets an ID band with a barcode. A hand-held computer is used to read the barcode on the child’s wristband and on the medication label before each does is administered. This records the medication delivery and confirms that the medication and dose is correct. The right drug, in the right dose, by the right route gets to the right patient, at the right time.

eRecord and Lab Testing

When a child has a specimen taken for a test, PPID is used to label the specimen container at the bedside with the same barcode that identifies the child’s medications. The all-too-common problem of mislabeling laboratory tests virtually disappears.

eRecord and Surgery

Patients undergoing surgery are tracked by the unified eRecord through the entire process, from anesthesia and other preoperative procedures, through the operating room and postoperative procedures in the recovery room. At every step, the medical team has a complete record of the child’s medications and condition. And in the waiting room, the child’s family can follow the process on a screen displaying a simplified version of the tracking data, to see when their child has moved to another stage.

eRecord in the ED

In the Emergency Department (ED), children are tracked from their first contact with a nurse.

eRecord in the ICU

In critical care units, no patient charts hang at the bedside. Instead, we have the “dashboard,” where key vital signs and data from the eRecord are always on-screen. It adds to what the Critical Care teams call “situational awareness.” The team can know what is happening at every moment and at a glance quickly synthesize information to make critical decisions. Hands-free communication devices allow team members to be reached without needing to pull out a cell phone or a pager.