A photo illustration of the Admin-RX at work, scanning a patient's bar-coded wristband.
While there's no substitute for the healing human touch at Children's Hospital, two new technological tools will help staff provide better patient care.
One tool will improve medication safety, the other will give clinicians better, faster access to x-rays and other diagnostic images, such as ultrasound studies, MRIs and CAT scans.
Improving medication safety
Over the next year, Children's Hospital will put comprehensive new medication safety measures in place. Eventually, Children's healthcare workers will use handheld bar code readers to allow instant checking of the "five rights" for giving medication to children: Right patient, right drug, right dose, right time and right method.
The hand-held bar code readers will work just like the ones used at store checkout stands.
Here's how the new system will work:
The end result will be a verifiable medication tracking and delivery system, called Admin-Rx, designed to make medication delivery safer and more efficient.
All the diagnostic images, all the time
The faster physicians get x-rays, MRI scans, ultrasound images and other diagnostic images, the sooner they can use the image to help them diagnose and treat a child.
That's why diagnostic images at Children's are now available digitally, so physicians can view them easily at any time, from computer stations across the hospital. And just as many people may view the same Web page at the same time, when it's necessary, many physicians will also be able to simultaneously view a particular x-ray or MRI scan.
In the new system, called Picture Archiving and Communication System or PACS, all diagnostic images will be stored digitally in a computer database at Children's Hospital. The images will be viewable on any computer hooked up to the Children's network. There will also be 29 high-resolution workstations around the hospital to give doctors an even better view. Patient privacy and confidentiality will be protected.
Eventually, private-practice physicians treating Children's patients will also have access to PACS images through fast, secure Web connections.
PACS will eliminate film use, saving money and speeding image interpretation, so patients and their families won't have to wait as long to hear results. When films are required, hard copies can still be printed.