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Effects of bar code-assisted medication administration (BCMA) on frequency, type and severity of medication administration errors: a review of the literature
  1. Jeroen Jules Margriet Hassink1,
  2. Mark Marinus Peter Maria Jansen1,
  3. Pieter Johan Helmons2
  1. 1Department of Pharmacy, TweeSteden Hospital, Tilburg, The Netherlands
  2. 2Department of Pharmacy, St. Jansdal Hospital, Harderwijk, The Netherlands
  1. Correspondence to Dr Jeroen Jules Margriet Hassink, Erasmus Medical Center, Department of Pharmacy, PO Box 2040, 3000 CA Rotterdam, The Netherlands; j.hassink{at}


Bar code-assisted medication administration (BCMA) is increasingly being adopted as an additional tool in the prevention of medication administration errors. This literature review summarises the evidence behind the effects of BCMA technology on medication safety. Although most studies show an error-reducing effect of BCMA technology, compliance with the new technology after its implementation and the long-term effects on error reduction are often not assessed. Most importantly, the effect of medication error reduction on patient outcomes is limited.

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