Neuenschwander Reports Bar Code-Enabled Point of Care Solutions are Poised for More Rapid Adoption in Patient Safety Initiatives

To the Bedside Report: Over 30 Vendors Offer BPOC Solutions, and More Than 700 U.S. Hospitals are Using the Technology

Bellevue, Washington, UNITED STATES

SEATTLE, Oct. 10, 2006 (PRIMEZONE) -- The Neuenschwander Company's latest report, To the Bedside, identifies key market trends and delivers in-depth analysis of barcode-enabled point of care (BPOC) solutions designed to make the medication-use process in hospitals safer.

Over 30 health information technology vendors market bar coding applications to improve patient safety and quality at the last line of defense -- the bedside.

Market research for this report and from Entropy Research, Inc. indicates that 725 U.S. hospitals are using bar coding to verify and document medication administrations.

Kasey Thompson, Director of Practice Standards and Quality at ASHP said, "Bar-coded medication-administration technology is something every hospital should be assessing now and most should plan to implement within the next five years."

"For several years professionals have believed in the safety benefits of BPOC. Finally their convictions have been met by mature BPOC systems, successful implementations and large-scale rollouts. All this paves the way for more rapid rollout of this powerful technology," says Mark Neuenschwander, publisher of Neuenschwander Reports.

The report profiles 32 BPOC application vendors, including 20 with systems in live usage. Vendors approach the market from several perspectives and may be grouped into categories: enterprise, pharmacy automation, POC-centric, laboratory and blood bank, and specialty market solutions.

Although less expensive and less complicated than computerized prescriber order entry (CPOE), considerable care is advised in planning for a BPOC implementation. Applications interact within multiple clinical, supply chain, and administrative processes and require successful coordination from multiple disciplines.

Closing the Medication Process Loop

Although few hospitals have implemented both CPOE and bar coding at the point of care, many are endeavoring to close the loop with integrated CPOE, BPOC and pharmacy information systems.

Applying BPOC Beyond Medication Administration

Positive identification of patients and items used in their therapy is enabled by shared infrastructure, including wireless networks, mobile computers, scanners, imagers, and printers. Over 80 hospitals are using BPOC for specimen collection, and adoption is emerging for blood transfusion verification and breast-milk verification.

Increasing Integration Touch Points

BPOC systems are increasingly adaptive and aware. Interoperability with smart infusion devices promises safer IV administration workflow. BPOC systems are also being integrated with automated dispensing machines, vital signs monitors, and laboratory systems.

Developing Lower-Cost Systems

New vendor approaches aim to lower acquisition and operating costs. Although pricing depends on many variables, a 250-bed hospital can implement a medication administration system for as little as $250,000.

Utilizing Auto-ID Technologies

Adoption of reduced space symbology and two-dimensional symbols is increasingly commonplace. RFID technology is seen as augmenting, and not replacing, bar coding at the point of care.

Optimizing the Value of BPOC Investments

BPOC provides an enhanced safety net, and leading organizations are analyzing system-generated data to improve upstream process and eliminate opportunity for error well before the therapy reaches the patient.

About To the Bedside: An Expanded Review of Bar Code Point of Care Solutions

To the Bedside delivers 362 pages of practical and actionable knowledge, including market background, trends, and critical issues to consider in selecting a system. In-depth exploration of vendor evaluation criteria is accompanied by detailed profiles of applications from leading vendors. Concrete implementation advice, lessons learned, and tips for success are all covered extensively. The reader learns how to optimize system benefits through data-enabled clinical performance improvement.

Mike Wisz, lead author of the report, advises that "hospitals can achieve significant, near-term improvements in safety with bar code technologies at the point of care. To succeed hospitals need to sort through a number of technology, people, and process issues. We deliver a compass and a map in navigating through the maze of questions to consider in selecting, implementing and optimizing the right system."

The report is available at


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