Date of Conferral



Doctor of Business Administration (D.B.A.)


Business Administration


Cheryl McMahan


The number of medication errors associated with preventable deaths in healthcare facilities remains at a high rate for healthcare leaders. Practices of medication delivery remain similar to those 10 years ago. Hospitals that have implemented barcoding medication administration systems have reported a decrease in medication errors ranging from 60% to as high as 93%. Despite this utility of barcoding, only 50% of U.S. hospitals have implemented barcode medication administration. This comparative case study explored the strategies hospital leaders used to implement barcode medication administration systems, utilizing the sociotechnical theory for a conceptual framework. Face-to-face, semistructured interviews were used to identify experiences from a purposive sample of 20 hospital leaders from Minnesota and Iowa. The research question guiding this study addressed strategies hospital leaders used to implement barcode medication systems to reduce preventable medical errors. After analyzing the interview transcripts using inductive analyses, 4 themes emerged. These themes include the strategic organizational communication, technology and end user support, hands-on training, and application of audit reports. Hospital leaders might benefit from the study findings when developing strategies to implement barcode medication systems. The implication for positive social change includes the potential of decreasing patient medication errors and reducing loss of life caused by medication errors with hospital leaders accelerating the adoption of barcode medication systems in hospitals. Other health care providers may explore how the findings might help reduce medication errors in their facilities.