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Evaluation of the Use of Bar-Code Medication Administration in Nursing Practice Using an Evidence-Based Checklist

Harrington, Linda PhD, DNP, RN-BC, CNS, CPHQ, CENP, CPHIMS, FHIMSS; Clyne, Kurt PharmD, MS; Fuchs, Mary Ann DNP, RN, FAAN; Hardison, Van PhD, RN-BC, CENP, FHIMSS; Johnson, Constance PhD, MS, RN

JONA: The Journal of Nursing Administration: November 2013 - Volume 43 - Issue 11 - p 611–617
doi: 10.1097/01.NNA.0000434504.69428.a2

The goal of this project was to determine whether the use of bar-code medication administration complied with current evidence as to how it should be used. Using an evidence-based checklist, we performed a gap analysis on bar-code medication administration (BCMA) in an acute care setting. Compliance with current evidence was identified through observation and unstructured nurse interviews. Based on findings from the initial gap analysis, quality improvement initiatives were implemented followed by a reassessment to identify possible improvement of the identified gaps. Initially, there was 72% compliance with current evidence-based practices using BCMA. After implementation of initial quality improvement initiatives targeting 3 of 9 areas with deficits in compliance, compliance was found to be 81%. The evidence-based checklist was helpful in identifying gaps in current performance and opportunities for improvement with BCMA.

Author Affiliations: Vice President and Regional Chief Nursing Informatics Officer (Drs Harrington and Hardison), Catholic Health Initiatives, Englewood, Colorado; Pharmacy Director (Dr Clyne), Saint Elizabeth Regional Medical Center, Lincoln, Nebraska; and Vice President of Patient Care and System Chief Nurse Executive (Dr Fuchs), Duke University Health System, and Associate Professor (Dr Johnson), School of Nursing and Community and Family Medicine, Duke University, Durham, North Carolina.

The authors declare no conflicts of interest.

Correspondence: Dr Harrington, 801 E Beach Dr BC2006, Galveston, TX 77550 (

© 2013 Wolters Kluwer Health | Lippincott Williams & Wilkins