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EGRMC gets SafeScan device
EGRMC scanner for web
Mary Anderson, chief nursing officer for East Georgia Regional medical Center, left, and Melissa Monclova demonstrate the new SafeScan system, which helps ensure patients receive the proper medication and correct dosages each time. - photo by Luke Martin/staff


East Georgia Regional Hospital nurse Melissa Monclova demonstrates how the SafeScan device works.

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    Nurses at East Georgia Regional Medical Center now have a new tool to help ensure they dispense the correct dose of medication to patients.
    The hospital is among the first in the nation to begin using the SafeScan system, a handheld devise which links wirelessly to EGRMC's pharmacy to ensure and document the right medications are given to the correct patients.
    "We think this is huge," said Mary Anderson, chief nursing officer. "I would never again feel comfortable working in a hospital where this technology wasn't available."
    Anderson said the hospital is currently in the process of implementing the system and it should be fully operational by August 1. East Georgia Regional Medical Center is among the first in the country and the only hospital in the southeast using this technology, she said.
    "This should reduce medical errors substantially," she said.
    To use the system, a nurse logs in by scanning their badge and then entering a personal identification number. When it's time to administer the medication, the nurse scans a bar code on the patients wristband. Medications are then scanned and the SafeScan device displays vital information to ensure the medicine is administered safely and accurately.
    When new medications needed immediately, the system checks for allergies and potentially harmful drug interactions prior to giving the patient the drugs.
    After that, the nurse scans her badge again to complete the transaction.
    If, at any time, discrepancies occur, the system will notify the nurse and the administration of the medication is halted.
    "In recent days, health care is reaching many critical milestones in our effort to 'first do no harm'," said Bob Bigley, CEO of EGRMC. "This solution to potential medication errors has created tremendous peace of mind for our administrative team, our nurses and our patients."
    At first, the nurses were a bit hesitant with the system, Anderson said, mostly due to the new technology. Now, however, they are "very excited" about it.
    "As they began to use it and see the ease of it, they realized the good things it can help them do. They're very happy with it," she said.
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