Resolving Bar Code Issues in a BCMA System
October 2009 - Vol. 6 No. 10

By Ron Schneider, Jonathan Bagby, Ruth Petrich, and Nancy Smestad

Medications or patient wristbands that do not scan at the point-of-care can be frustrating for end-users of bar code medication administration (BCMA) systems and can lead to potentially dangerous workarounds. It is important to understand that the bar code is not always the problem. Many variables impact the ability of a scanner to effectively and correctly decode a medication or wristband bar code, including bar code quality, scanner malfunction, medication missing from the data dictionary, order input and/or finishing errors, incorrect medication dispensed, incorrect units dispensed, or human error. Knowing how to effectively troubleshoot these issues will help resolve the problem quickly.


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