Bill Wechter/North County Times
Tri-City Medical Center nurse Anna Duenas uses a hand-held scanner to scan a painkiller for patient Carl Nyboer at the hospital Friday.
Bar codes have made it to the bedside at Tri-City Medical Center, where most nurses are now using hand-held scanners to make sure each patient gets the correct medication at the proper time and dose.
Nurses in all of the Oceanside hospital's inpatient departments ---- those areas where patients stay overnight ---- are now required to use the small wireless readers to scan each medication container before administering its contents to a patient. Tri-City officials said the $1.2 million project, which was largely funded by the Tri-City Hospital Foundation and auxiliary, has been proven to reduce medical dosing errors by 80 percent.
According to Steve Hori, an information technology analyst at Tri-City, the bedside system is used in relatively few hospitals in San Diego County. So far, only Tri-City, the veterans hospital in San Diego and the UCSD Medical Center have it.