Appl Clin Inform 2015; 06(04): 716-727
DOI: 10.4338/ACI-2015-06-R-0077
Research Article
Schattauer GmbH

The Efficacy of Patients’ Wristband Bar-code on Prevention of Medical Errors

A Meta-analysis Study
M. Khammarnia
1   Health Promotion Research Center, Zahedan University of Medical Sciences, Zahedan, Iran
A. Kassani
2   Prevention of Psychosocial Injuries Research Center, Ilam University of Medical Sciences, Ilam, Iran
M. Eslahi
3   Student Research Committee, Shiraz University of Medical Sciences, Shiraz, Iran
› Author Affiliations
Further Information

Publication History

received: 26 July 2015

accepted in revised form: 06 October 2015

Publication Date:
19 December 2017 (online)


Background: Patient misidentification, as a major patient safety issue, occurs in any healthcare setting and leads to inappropriate medical procedures, diagnosis or treatment, with serious outcomes.

Objectives: The study aimed to investigate the effectiveness of wristband bar-code medication scanning to reduce medical errors (ME).

Methods: A meta-analysis study was conducted. The relevant studies were searched in PubMed, Embase, Cochrane Library, Web of Science and Scopus from 1990 to March 2015. Thereafter, the studies retrieved were screened based on predefined inclusion and exclusion criteria. Data were extracted, and the quality of the included studies was evaluated using the STROBE checklist.

Results: In total, 14 articles involving 483 cases were included. The meta-analysis indicated that the use of wristband bar-code medication scanning can reduce the ME around 57.5% (OR=0.425, 95% CI: 0.28-0.65, P<0.001). The study results showed a marked heterogeneity in the subgroup analysis (I-squared=98%). This was I2=70.35, P-value=0.018 for the type of samples and I2=99%, P-value<0.001 for years and countries.

Conclusion: Wristband bar-code medication scanning can decrease the ME in hospital setting. Since the patient’s safety is the main goal of the World Health Organization, it is recommended that a unique patient identification barcode should be used with name, medical record number, and bar-coded financial number.