A Medical Device Daily Staff Report

Cardinal Health (Dublin, Ohio) this week unveiled a new service, named ReadyScan, that it targets for improving patient safety by providing hospitals with pharmaceuticals in unit-of-use packages with bar codes that help clinicians verify medications at the bedside.

The company referred to the report of the Institutes of Medicine (Washington) estimating the large number of injuries and high costs of injuries from medication errors, and it said bar code technology has been shown to reduce such errors by nearly 70%. It added: “One barrier to bedside medication verification is the availability of certain medications in a single unit, bar-coded package.”

ReadyScan will provide unit-dose, bar-coded packaging for pharmaceuticals that aren’t available from the manufacturer in this format. It said that the lack of such unit-dose coding forces hospitals to do the repacking. While some medications are already available from manufacturers, Cardinal Health plans a full release of ReadyScan by the end of January 2007.

Cardinal said that the first implementation of ReadyScan was at Daughters of Charity Health System , a system of hospitals along the California coast from the San Francisco Bay Area to Los Angeles, that also helped design the system.

ReadyScan is also fully integrated into the CardinalASSIST service, an automated replenishment system for the Pyxis MedStation.