Applying bar code technology in nurses' medication administration

Hsiu Ya Huang, Ting Ting Lee*

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

5 Scopus citations


A bar code is a machine-readable, graphic representation of data that allows the use of a combination of bars and spaces of varying widths to obviate the need for manual keyboard data entry. Bar code technology is currently used in patient identification, laboratory specimen identification, blood transfusion and medication administration verification applications. Bar coding has also been employed to provide critical double checks for patient safety. Nurses should safeguard patients from medication errors. However, clinical nurses are sometimes the cause of problems in preparing medication due to various reasons. The introduction of bar code technology with electronic medication administration record could both help prevent medication errors and ensure the completeness of medication records. This paper briefly introduces bar code technology and bar code medication administration and reviews the efficiency of such systems and implementation issues. The goal is to provide an informative overview of bar code medication administration.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)70-74
Number of pages5
JournalJournal of Nursing
Issue number2
StatePublished - Apr 2009


  • Bar code medication administration (BCMA)
  • Bar code technology
  • Implementation issues
  • System efficiency


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