ASHP seeks info on problems with bar-coded meds

April 2, 2007

ASHP wants pharmacists in hospital and health-system pharmacy to report problems they encounter with bar-coded medications. They want to know if those problems interrupt patient care or pharmacy efficiency.

ASHP wants pharmacists in hospital and health-system pharmacy to report problems they encounter with bar-coded medications. They want to know if those problems interrupt patient care or pharmacy efficiency. Henri R. Manasse Jr., Ph.D., executive VP and CEO of ASHP, said that bar codes can be the last line of defense against a dangerous medication error and that it is critical that the technology work appropriately so that patients receive the right medicine at the right time. A reporting form on the society's Web site will collect accounts from practitioners of bar-code quality problems such as bar codes not being readable by scanners, not being included on the unit-dose product, or reading as another product. The reports will assist ASHP in learning about the extent of problems related to bar-code medication packaging and facilitating communication to manufacturers, federal agencies, and advocacy groups to improve patient safety. The on-line form can be found at the following Web link: