Barcode on pills to save 50 deaths a year’

Barcode on pills to save 50 deaths a year’

Photo: Consumers Association

If all medicines in hospitals are provided with a barcode, there would be nearly fifty dead less fall. That is the half of the nearly one hundred people per year die in the Netherlands because they are in the hospital, the wrong medication is administered.

It would also include the 250 cases of serious health damage is less, and ten thousand unnecessary “ligdagen” in hospitals be prevented.

This is evident from a recent survey that the ministry of Health has to do. The approach was a new method that four hospitals in the Netherlands apply to this kind of errors. These hospitals, in addition to Sneek in Tilburg, Nijmegen and Harderwijk paste itself bar codes on the packaging of which the manufacturer or wholesaler that did not.

The tricky thing in hospitals is that pills not per box, but on the bed per pill will be presented.


The effects of the new system are favourable. The chance that the nurses still wrong pills to a patient, is reduced by half, says hospital pharmacist Michiel Duyvendak of the Antonius Hospital in Sneek. He got Wednesday as a driver of a plume of the organization to which the barcodes developed by GS1.

About 80 percent of the pills has a barcode. The major risk lies in the missing 20 percent. “Alone through the remaining medicines of barcodes, book a huge profit before patient safety,” says Duyvendak. He would prefer that the suppliers of all the pills into the smallest packaging is now a barcode to give.

Now have hospitals costs, including for mobile scanning devices for the nursing staff and because employees with the stickers on it to paste. Alone in Sneek that of 200,000 stickers per year. The financial benefits would be nationwide, at least 20 million euros per year, because fewer people become ill due to wrong use of medicines.

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