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Bar coding patients? New system cuts down on medication errors
Glendale Heights – Adventist GlenOaks Hospital recently implemented a new system for administering medication to patients. The process, called Medication Positive Patient Identification (mPPID), greatly reduces the possibility of a medication or dosing error in a hospital.

“Medication Positive Patient Identification is one of many systems we’ve implemented to further strengthen the quality of patient care,” said Jackie Conrad, chief nursing officer and vice president of patient care services at Adventist GlenOaks Hospital. “It serves as a second line of protection to further improve accuracy in the delivery of medication.”

After months of training, the system went live at Adventist GlenOaks Hospital on Dec. 13. Adventist Bolingbrook Hospital went live with the same system in October while Adventist La Grange Memorial Hospital went live in November. Staff at Adventist Hinsdale Hospital is currently training and will go live with mPPID in late January.

With mPPID, nurses use mobile or fixed computers in patient rooms with attached bar code scanners to scan the bar codes on patients’ wristbands, as well as bar codes on individual medication doses ordered by physicians. Once a nurse has successfully logged into a patient's electronic medical record, and before the medication is administered, the bar code on the patient's wristband tells the nurse who the patient is and it accesses the patient's electronic medical records to determine if there is an order for that medication. If the medication ordered on a scanned patient is not a perfect match, the clinician is notified immediately.

This interactive, mobile and immediate method of verifying medication and dosage is an improvement over the traditional process. Historically, the medication administration process would include checking a paper-based record-keeping system at a centralized nursing station, transcribing information by hand, comparing this against the patient chart, visually checking the wristband to confirm patient identity and transcribing patient information back to the paper-based record keeping system.

“By its nature the traditional medication administration process takes caregivers away from their patients in order to perform administrative processes,” Conrad said. “The new system allows nurses to spend more time at the bedside, improves productivity and efficiency, reduces medical costs, and most importantly helps improves patient safety.”
Adventist Midwest Health includes Adventist Bolingbrook Hospital, Adventist GlenOaks Hospital, Adventist Hinsdale Hospital and Adventist La Grange Memorial Hospital. To find a physician, visit

Media contact: Sheila Galloro, public relations specialist, Adventist Midwest Health,; 630-856-2359.