Background on Barcode Medication Administration Project

This is the second toolkit about barcoding developed by the American Society of Health-System Pharmacists Research and Education Foundation.

The objective of the second toolkit is to provide information about the planning, implementation and optimization of a verification system for medications labeled with machine readable coding. The Foundation recognizes that barcoding – although currently seeming to be a standard approach for machine readable coding – is only one type of machine readable technology. Other types of symbologies, including smart chips and radio frequency technologies exist now (or may evolve) during the practical life of this document. However, to make this toolkit easier to understand, the term "barcode' is used throughout to be representative of machine readable coding.

It is hoped that those who visit this website will:

  1. Gain or strengthen a general understanding of machine readable coding technology for use in a barcode medication administration (BCMA) system.
  2. Be better prepared to plan and implement a BCMA system.
  3. Be better prepared to optimize your BCMA system after it is implemented.

The information contained in this toolkit is constantly evolving because of ongoing research and improvements in technology and is subject to the professional judgment and interpretation of the involved health care professionals. The ASHP Research and Education Foundation (ASHP Foundation), the expert panel, authors and external peer reviewers have made reasonable efforts to ensure the accuracy and appropriateness of the information presented. However, any reader of this information is advised that the ASHP Foundation, the expert panel, authors and the external reviewers are not responsible for the continued currency of the information, for any errors or omissions and/or for any consequences arising from the use of the information in the toolkit in any and all practice settings. Any reader of this document is cautioned that the ASHP Foundation makes no representation, guarantee or warranty, express or implied, as to the accuracy and appropriateness of the information contained in this toolkit and will bear no responsibility or liability for the results or consequences of its use.