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Indian Health Service The Federal Health Program for American Indians and Alaska Natives

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Clinical Overview

Bar Code Medication Administration (BCMA) is a point-of-care application for validation of medication administration that supports "real-time" recording of medications given to hospital inpatients. Use of an electronic medication administration record with bar code scanning verifies patient identity as well as insuring that the patient receives the right medication, in the right dose, via the right route at the right time (commonly known as "The Five Rights"). BCMA was designed to augment patient safety in the administration of medication by providing checks and safeguards, but was not intended to be a replacement for the clinical judgment of the medication administrator.

BCMA provides a familiar graphical interface that works with the Resource and Patient Management System (RPMS) database and the Electronic Health Record (EHR) to both record medication administration and then make that information easily accessible to users of RPMS and EHR. BCMA is fully integrated with RPMS and EHR and medication changes made by providers in EHR are reflected in BCMA as soon as the order is processed. Similarly, when a medication is administered using BCMA the information is viewable in RPMS and EHR immediately.

BCMA supports functions such as:

  • Identification of the patient by scanning a barcoded wristband
  • Recording administration of scheduled medications including topical, unit dose, IV push, and IV piggyback medications
  • Recording administration of PRN Medications
  • Placing an order and recording administration of STAT medications in emergent situations utilizing the "CPRS Med Order" button
  • Recording administration and management of continuous IV Fluids
  • Prevention of incorrect administrations by positively identifying medications with bar codes
  • Generation of lists of due medications
  • Generation of "missed" medications (i.e. those not recorded as administered when due)
  • Generation of medication variance reports for quality improvement
  • Recording and reporting on PRN effectiveness
  • Requesting missing medications electronically

View the sample workflow for BCMA medication administration Exit Disclaimer: You Are Leaving www.ihs.gov [PDF - 176 KB].