University of South Alabama
  University of South Alabama
Care Centers
USA Hospitals
Centers of Excellence
Clinical Research
New Doctors
News Releases
Special Events
Healthcare Professionals
Find a Doctor
USA Home | College of Medicine | Career Opportunities | Maps | FAQ | SecureLog In
USA Health System
News Release
Mobile, Ala. (October17, 2008)
Contact: Bob Lowry, (251) 471-7262



From left, USA Medical Center third floor registered nurses Christy Parmer and Claude Loper use the hospital's new MAK program to check medication administration to their patients.

Grocery stores use bar coding to ring up the exact price of items purchased. Now, USA Medical Center is using bar coding to match patients exactly with their medication orders. The Medication Administration Check program - MAK for short - has been installed on all floors and intensive care units at USA Medical Center.

Using bar code scanners and wireless computers, the USA Medical Center nurse displays a medication administration work list. The list shows all the medications the patient is currently ordered. The nurse scans the bar code on the medication and then scans the patient’s wristband. The system automatically compares the scanned medication with the medication ordered and the patient.

“Bar code technology can be utilized to prevent medication errors in the acute case setting by checking at the patient’s bedside for the ‘five rights’ of medication administration - right medication, right time, right patient, right dose, and right route,” Steve Bethea, PharmD., USA Medical Center pharmacy director, said.

If there’s a discrepancy—for example, the medication that was scanned is the wrong medication for the patient—an alert appears on the computer screen, warning the nurse that one of the five rights is being breached, preventing a potential error.
“The USA Medical Center pharmacy department is proud to do its part by providing nurses with an accurate electronic patient profile and unit-dose, bar coded medications,” Bethea said.
“Overall, the MAK system will improve our efficiency and decrease medication errors,” Stephanie Brown, nurse manager at USA Medical Center, said. “In addition, it brings the nurse back to the bedside, which is part of our Transforming Care At the Bedside process.”
USAMC was selected last year to participate in the nationwide Transforming Care at the Bedside initiative, which seeks to examine and improve patient care by nurses and other clinical staff members.
“At USA Medical Center, we pride ourselves on providing the highest level of care,” Beth Anderson, USA Medical Center administrator, said. “We’re excited to add the MAK system, as it supports our commitment to increasing efficient use of nursing time through environmental changes, use of technology and team training.”
Besides making the medication process safer for the patient, bar coding eases workloads on doctors and nurses by keeping detailed documentation of every patient’s medication. For instance, doctors can access a comprehensive electronic report to review when considering whether to change a patient’s prescription. Nurses aren’t burdened with extensive handwritten documentation of medication administration. The computer system provides real-time patient information, thereby enabling better coordination of overall patient care.
Bar coded point-of-care medication safety systems such as MAK are being adapted by leading hospitals nationwide to further ensure the very best care for their patients.
USA Health System Physician Directory
Search for a practicing physician in the University of South Alabama, by name, by location or by specialty.
University of South Alabama - Mobile Alabama 36688-0002 / 1 (251) 460-6101
For questions or comments Contact Us
Date last changed: October 20, 2008 5:04 PM