|Jen-Ai Hospital - Dali installs the first Bedside Terminal in Taiwan
BY MARK K. CHAN
TAICHUNG, JEN-AI HOSPITAL - DALI
¡@¡@Following in the footsteps of hospitals
in the U.S., U.K. and Japan, Jen-Ai Hospital - Dali in
Taichung County has installed the first bedside terminal
in Taiwan. In collaboration with Japan's Fujitsu Company,
Jen-Ai Hospital - Dali intends to give inpatients access
to cable TV, webcam service, information about hospital
services and using barcode technology to ensure the patients'
safety regarding medical prescription, through this device.
Other services such as radio, telephone, email, electronic
medical records and a growing number of interactive services
¡V including food ordering, will be added to the menu in
the near future.
¡@¡@"With heightened interest in patient-centered services,
it is important that Taiwan takes a step forward in providing
patients with something to occupy their time and reducing
medical errors in the hospitals. Jen-Ai Hospital - Dali
has decided to purchase 10 bedside terminals in its initial
stage, for the patients' entertainment, as well as for
the patients' safety. We believe that by investing in
this technology, we are offering ways to entertain our
patients and prevent medical errors, at the same time,
"says Dr. Daniel Chan Liao, the Superintendent of
Jen-Ai Hospital - Dali.
¡@¡@The Institute of Medicine in the U.S. have claimed that
medical errors have generated substantial costs in lives,
injuries, and wasted health care resources, and that misuse
of drugs is a major component of those errors. Errors
committed during dispensation of drugs and ordering of
medication are the top two reasons for errors in medication
usage to occur. The Institute of Medicine also reported
that in 1999, 770,000 people in the U.S. were injured,
of which 44,000~98,000 people have died, because of medication
¡@¡@As a result, hospitals have started to look for ways
to reduce medical errors, in which the barcode technology
was introduced into the hospital for this very purpose.
Currently, only about 300 of the 6,600 hospitals in the
U.S. use the barcode technology for patient safety reasons.
However, it has been reported that by February 2004, the
Food and Drug Administration will issue orders requiring
that every medication sold to hospitals have a barcode
identification number. As a result, some sources estimate
that the number of hospitals investing in the barcode
devices is expected to rise to 70 ~ 80% within 5 years.
¡@¡@"Department of Health in Taiwan has yet to get
involved in the barcode technology for patient safety
purposes, although relevant government bodies in the U.S.,
U.K. and in Japan have already started to move towards
this initiative," says Dr. Chan Liao. "It's only
a matter of time before Taiwan realizes that in order
to keep up with the times, Taiwan will also have to invest
in the barcode technology, combined with other useful
services, such as the one offered by Jen-Ai Hospital - Dali's bedside terminal."
¡@¡@ The bedside terminal built solely
by Fujitsu Company incorporates an LCD television screen
propped up by an arm that hangs down from the ceiling.
It uses the touch-screen technology, although remote control
is available for ease of use. When medication needs to
be administered to the patient, a barcode scanner is attached
to the monitor, which will allow the nurses to scan the
barcodes on their own IDs, patients' identification bracelets
and the medicine bags, for verification purposes. If there
is a discrepancy between the medical order and the actual
medical prescription, the monitor displays an "error"
message, which is color coded, allowing only the nurse
to realize the error and investigate the problem.