SMH Again Ranked First Statewide in Medication Safety

LEONARDTOWN, Md. (July 14, 2010)—The Pharmacy, Information Technology and Nursing departments at St. Mary's Hospital once again ranked first in the state in a survey by the Institute for Safe Medication Practices (ISMP).

In 2000, the Maryland Hospital Association initiated a voluntary medication safety initiative called MedSafe. The project collaborates with the institute to provide a self-assessment tool that gauges the level of safety in medication practices. St. Mary's Hospital's overall achievement score was 98 percent this year. It is the second year in a row that SMH was ranked first by ISMP.

In February 2009, the hospital implemented CareMobile - a handheld scanning device designed to prevent or reduce medication errors. The technology from the Cerner Corporation is used for medication administration. When a nurse administers medication, he or she will scan the barcode on his or her employee badge, scan the wristband of the patient and scan the barcode on the medication. This process links the nurse to the patient's chart and provides alerts to tell the nurse if the medication dose, or route, such as pills or liquid, is correct.

The projects, including CareMobile and the Computer Physician Order Entry (CPOE) system, have contributed to the success of the survey, along with diligent employees.

"This is a really great accomplishment," said Mark Boucot, vice president at St. Mary's Hospital. "The ranking we received on the survey demonstrates our very high commitment to patient safety here at St. Mary's Hospital. Our investments in technology, our teamwork and our safety initiatives allow us to provide our patients with excellent quality care."

Source: St. Mary's Hospital

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