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THE PHARMA REVIEW (MARCH 2009)

Automatic Identification Systems in Healthcare

Medical errors figure prominently on the list of issues within Healthcare problems in Europe. More people in Europe die each year due to medical errors than any other reason including breast cancer or even vehicle accidents. The costs associated with these errors are huge and it is believed that about half of them are preventable. According to the 2005 Eurobarometer survey on medical errors, 4 out of 5 EU citizens believe medical error to be an important problem in their country. Almost 23 per cent of Europeans felt a member of their family has been victim of medical error at some point. It is interesting to know that 18% of these errors happened within the hospital and 11 % are involving wrong medication. It is a common misconception that prescribing wrong dosage of drugs is the only medical error possible. But there are other types of medical errors like diagnostic errors, equipment failures, infections such as nosocomial and post-surgical wound infections, blood transfusion-related injuries, misinterpretation of other medical orders etc. The use of automatic identification system is one of the recommended methods to avoid medical errors. This would be highly effective in reducing medication errors and infection rates etc. 

 

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