"Closing the Loop" on Medication Safety
What YOU Can Do
Know Your Drugs:
Lifespan's four affiliated hospitals (Rhode Island Hospital and its
Hasbro Children's hospital, The Miriam Hospital, Bradley Hospital and
Newport Hospital) utilize a system of automated medication dispensing.
Installed in all patient units, this “closed-loop” medication system is
designed to enhance patient safety and reduce the human opportunity for
It helps to ensure that the right patient receives the correct
dosage of prescribed medication at the right time.
Here's how Lifespan's integrated clinical information system for
medication safety works:
All medications for every inpatient are ordered electronically.
Medications correspond to an identification barcode on the
The Lifespan medication system checks automatically for minimum
and maximum dosage amounts, a patient's allergies, or other drug
Automated dispensing units prevent nurses from accessing
medication until a pharmacist has reviewed and approved the
A warning is automatically triggered if there are questions
about the medication medication is dispensed until it is
The system reports this information to the administering
physician and to the hospital's pharmacist. Both must approve
the medication before it is dispensed to the patient.
Before the medication is to be administered, the nurse or
physician engages a device at the patient's bedside. The
patient's bracelet barcode is scanned. If the medication for
that patient and the dosage correspond, a green light appears on
the electronic device, indicating the medication can be
dispensed. If there is an error, a red light appears and no
medication is administered.
The information is transmitted to a secure dispensing facility
where a single dosage of the correct medication is automatically
labeled and prepared for dispensing.
A report is generated that becomes part of the patient's record
and is reviewed daily by the patient's health care team.
Proven Results Make Us a National Leader
A study prepared by a team of Lifespan doctors, pharmacists, information
technicians and medical directors was published in the September 2007
issue of the American Journal of Health-Systems Pharmacists.
The findings of that study proved that the “closed-loop” system works to
increase patient safety throughout Lifespan's multi-hospital health care
system and that medication errors decreased.
We encourage you to submit any
questions or concerns you may have about medication safety at