New patient ID and safety solutions from Zebra Technologies are set to help Middle East healthcare sector meet international patient safety and industry standards, including Joint Commission International. In the UAE, by 2020, only accredited public and private healthcare providers will be allowed to operate in the UAE, according to the seven-year UAE National Agenda announced in January 2014. Accreditation to international standards is central to the Agenda and medical facilities that do not reach the required accreditation will not be allowed to operate in the UAE after 2021.
Eliminating hospital errors in patient identification, treatment administering, medication dispensing, and blood and specimen labelling, is a fundamental requirement to ensure the safety of patients. In 2004/5 alone, the UK’s NHS (National Health Service) faced over £400 million worth of clinical negligence claims – one of the key causes being patient misidentification. The National Patient Safety Agency states that this causes 19% of all hospital errors. The UK Government estimates that errors associated with mistaken identity cost the NHS approximately £2 billion in extra bed days.
Proven practices such as barcode based safety initiatives are underpinning hospitals’ efforts to meet the patient safety requirements set by industry accrediting bodies. The Joint Commission International (JCI), which sets the standards for many of the region’s major hospitals has its own International Patient Safety Goals designed to reliably identify the patient and match the treatment to the patient; it is a serious issue as, according to the JCI, ‘wrong-patient errors occur in virtually all aspects of diagnosis and treatment’.
Zebra Technologies, a global leader in technologies that give a virtual voice to an organization’s assets, people and transactions, is working with the Middle East healthcare sector to help hospitals in the region meet patient safety goals, satisfy the demands of regulatory and accreditation bodies and improve efficiency and care for adult patients and children through enhanced patient identification and visibility of information, including its unique LaserBand healthcare wristband solution, starting at the bedside.
Patient wristbands can help identify patients but many studies have shown that between 2 percent and 6 percent of patients aren’t properly identified by their wristbands. A study of wristband problems by the College of American Pathologists (CAP) found that 6.8 percent contained inaccurate data and 7.7 percent had illegible data. Barcoded wristbands offer the advantages of recording and presenting information, and barcode scanning is extremely accurate-much more accurate than any manual means of information recording. With barcoded wristbands, nurses, doctors, medical assistants, lab technicians, and other personnel can be sure that the patient will be identified correctly and the right information will be presented every time the wristband is scanned.
“Patient-centred care and safety is every hospital’s number one priority and accurate patient identification is fundamental to achieving this,” says Pratik Kajaria, Territory Manager, Middle East, Zebra Technologies. “Track and trace technology helps increase patient safety from admission to laboratory, operating theatre, pharmacy and beyond by making patients visible. For example, Zebra’s LaserBand healthcare wristband and barcode printing solutions can help hospitals, healthcare organizations and laboratories reduce or eliminate human errors and increase overall productivity, whilst meeting the standards for patient safety set by healthcare regulators and international accreditation bodies.”
In the GCC, hospitals make extensive use of the Zebra range of solutions across a range of operations from patient admission desk to the bedside, as well as the medical laboratory and hospital pharmacy. Hospitals print critical information such as dosage information and prescription labels, bedside sample collection, patient ID wristbands and staff ID cards. These solutions help hospitals ensure that adult, paediatric and infant patients are accurately identified throughout their hospital stay and enable immediate access to critical patient information at the bedside and across all hospital departments. Zebra’s healthcare solutions are certified and recommended by all of the leading Electronic Health Records (EHR) providers.
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