Reducing errors through technology
Legacy Health is improving patient safety by improving work processes and using new technology. For example, Legacy uses automated drug dispensing technologies to reduce medication errors. We educate patients about their medications and have pharmacists on patient care units to encourage communication. Processes involving high-risk medications are being standardized with the help of computerized entry forms.
In 2004, Legacy implemented an Intranet reporting web page for recording "incidents" or medical errors, such as incorrect medication dosing. Any staff member is able to fill out a form on the web page from any computer within Legacy. Throughout the system, the number of incidents being reported rose by at least 30 percent. The automated reporting system allows more accurate tracking of errors, which allows us to identify areas for improvement, and implement changes to reduce medication and other types of errors.