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Published on 23 September 2008

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Drugs index “will help save lives”

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The development of a drug indexing system will dramatically cut medication errors, according to its inventors.

Anaesthesiologist Dr Tracy Dallman and Brent Dallman, from Indianapolis in the US, said their Drug Index Safety System enhances electronic patient record keeping by offering a convenient bar-coded tab. This tab allows for larger numbering and lettering, as well as electronic labelling.

Currently, the small nature of many drug vials makes accommodating a full drug pedigree impossible. With the new system, even small, highly concentrated drugs can effectively and electronically become part of a patient’s medical record.

Mr Dallman, a product developer, said: “The Drug Index Safety System helps patient information systems do what they were meant to do – save lives. It is crucial that small, highly concentrated pharmaceuticals are organised, easy to read and finally have enough space to contain critical lifesaving information.”

Medication errors cause over 15,000 deaths per year in the US, 66% of which are infants and children.

The Drug Index Safety System also employs forced function – a physical constraint, based on a series of keys, that makes the incorrect stocking of medication impossible.

“The Drug Index Safety System will provide the ability to complete the electronic pedigree, reduce errors that occur from visual reading or manual entry of label information, and most importantly prevent the avoidable experience of an allergic reaction or the ultimate tragedy, death,” added Mr Dallman.

Copyright PA Business 2008

US Food and Drug Administration



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