In CMS’s Stage 2 Final Rule, one of the core objectives specifies that EHs and CAHs should automatically track medications from order to administration using assistive technologies in conjunction with an electronic medication administration record (eMAR). Specifically, the measure reads:
More than 10 percent of medication orders created by authorized providers of the EH’s or CAH’s inpatient or emergency department (POS 21 or 23) during the EHR reporting period for which all doses are tracked using eMAR.
(Note that any EH or CAH with an average daily in-patient census of fewer than 10 patients may be excluded from meeting this measure.)
As part of ongoing efforts to address the measure and thus promote Meaningful Use, IHS’s EHR Deployment Team, Veterans Health Administration's (VHA) Bar Code Resource Office (BCRO), VHA Employee Education System (EES), and VA's OIT are moving forward with their plans to implement Bar Code Medication Administration (BCMA) within the IHS System in 2013. BCMA assistive technology is a software application used by the VHA to document medication administration and reduce medication errors. Implementing this technology in IHS/tribal hospitals will assist IHS and tribes in meeting MU Stage 2 requirements.
In FY 2013, IHS intends to implement BCMA in two sites, one of which is Cherokee Indian Hospital Authority in Cherokee, N.C., where a previous version of BCMA had been in operation. During the week of June 24, the site received remote support for their configuration, test, and upgrade. Three weeks later, during the week of July 15, representatives from the IHS OIT EHR Deployment Team, VA and VHA provided on-site support for staff training and Go-Live.
The second tribal site chosen to implement BCMA during FY 2013 is Choctaw Nation Health Services Authority in Talihina, Okla. Since Choctaw is not running a current version of BCMA, the facility will undergo the entire BCMA configuration process, including drug file cleanup, quality/performance improvement process, installation/configuration of scanning equipment, and configuration/test activities (scheduled for the week of September 9). During the week of September 16, representatives from the VA, VHA, and the IHS OIT EHR Deployment Team will provide on-site support for the facility’s training and Go-Live activities.
Both facilities will participate in bi-monthly web-based conference calls throughout FY 2013 as a means of follow-up for the BCMA implementations. IHS OIT has forecasted that 13 of 14 IHS/Tribal facilities will be required to implement BCMA in FY 14 to meet Stage 2 Meaningful Use. The VA/IHS BCMA collaboration is a highly valued partnership that not only benefits IHS and Tribal customers but also improves the administration safety of patient medications in American Indian/ Alaskan Native hospital settings.