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Computer to reduce wrong drug risk


A handheld computer is being trialled by health workers to ensure patients receive the correct medication at the right time without needing to refer to paper medical records.

The CF-H1 Toughbook Mobile Clinical Assistant (MCA) is currently being trialled by pharmacists, doctors and nurses across England in a move which could spell the end to clipboards on the end of patients’ beds.

The device can be used to check and update patient records and scan barcodes and electronic tags to check which drugs a patient needs and when.

The computer’s maker Panasonic believes the technology could reduce the number of mistakes made in NHS hospitals every year.

Jon Tucker, product head for the MCA at Panasonic, said: “Hundreds of mistakes are estimated to be made in hospitals every week at the moment, either through poor communication or basic human error.

“This computer enables a patient’s central records to be updated at the bedside during ward rounds, dramatically reducing the potential for mistakes.”

Medical staff have helped develop the wireless computer, which is currently being trialled at one in three hospital trusts, and it could also be used to cut the risk of spreading infections like MRSA and Clostridium difficile as it prompts the user when it needs cleaning.

Copyright Press Association 2009


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