Tech Watch

The Bridge Medication Management System enables nurses to catch potential patient injuries from drug therapies. The barcode scan system interacts with bedside computers and a radio-wave-controlled communication system wired to the facility’s information system. It eliminates many manual steps in the typical 60-some step medication dispensing and delivering process.


• Nurses barcode-scan the drug to be administered with patient identification bracelet and their employee badge.

• System verifies "five rights," (1) patient, (2) drug, (3) dose, (4) time, (5) route of administration. It checks for safe dosing levels and alerts nurses to potential hazards with look-alike, sound-alike medications.

• System records time of administration and clinician’s identification.


• System transmits drug regimen changes to bedside nurses.

• It automates manual drug record keeping.

• System generates reports on each data set mentioned in the above section, as well as near misses and errors.

• Reports serve as tools for patient safety improvement.

• It’s compatible with Windows-based systems, as well as most network technologies and pharmacy software programs.

Feedback from alpha test site clinician

Trudy Day, RN, MSN, GNP, nurse manager of the Orthopedics and Neurosciences Unit at Northern Michigan Hospital in Petoskey and her staff have worked with the Bridge Medication Management System since December 1998. The system does slow the nurses down, but that’s a good thing, she observes. "Many times, nurses are passing meds while doing other things. Now I can see the near misses, and it’s alarming how many there are!" Potential users should know that not all drugs have barcodes. Staff choose the uncoded medication from a pick list on the monitor. At this writing, three more hospital systems are installing the system.


Bridge Medication Management System software license: $2.00/day per device. Hardware and network installation, extra.


Jim Douglas, RN, Site Coordinator, Northern Michigan Hospital, Petoskey, MI. Telephone: (231) 487-7161. Bridge Medical Inc., 120 S. Sierra, Solana Beach, CA 92075-1811. Telephone: (858) 350-0100. Web site: