Several months ago I wrote an article about Medication Reconciliation in which I talked about my experiences as a patient at a local academic medical center. In case you haven’t read it, not one of my medications was correctly transferred upon admission, and it took several days before the entire situation was worked out.
Since then I’ve been trying to think of ways we could use to avoid a recurrence of this problem, and I’ve come to the conclusion that simply micro-chipping myself might be answer.
Before you start laughing uproariously consider the facts.
- If I turned up in an ED I could simply tell them I had a microchip in my right buttock. That would pretty much certainly guarantee admission, albeit probably to the psychiatric center.
- Pet microchip technology works flawlessly and has few concerns with interoperability because two manufacturers (AVID and HomeAgain) dominate the market and just plain don’t inter-operate.
- It would be relatively inexpensive to outfit every hospital in the state with one model of scanner that can read the ID number.
- If you live in NY you could use the state wide patient identity service to map from microchip numbers to local identifiers.
- The savings in reconciliation of medications, identification of senior patients, and many other areas would easily outweigh the cost.
Of course I’m being a little bit facetious. Perhaps we should just have a national identifier after all.
Then I could get a QR code tattoo.