Sep 02, 2014

Patient-safety innovator to be posthumously honored with award bearing her name at the ninth annual unSUMMIT for Healthcare Barcoding

Bellevue WA, September 3, 2014-On September 18, 2014, The TerraPharma Project, will present the 2014 Sue Kinnick Way-Paver Awards for Healthcare Barcoding at its ninth unSUMMIT for Healthcare Barcoding in New Orleans, LA.

Since its inception in 2006, The Way-Paver Award for Bedside Barcoding has acknowledged the exceptional contributions of individuals and organizations who have helped clear the path and pave the way to safer patient care by applying bar-code technology in healthcare.

Known to many as “the mother of hospital barcoding,” Sue Kinnick, R.N., is being posthumously bestowed with one of three 2014 Way-Paver Awards.

“Because of her ground-breaking work,” says Mark Neuenschwander, cofounder of The unSUMMIT, “The TerraPharma Project is pleased to announce that the name of the award is being changed to The Sue Kinnick Way-Paver for Healthcare Barcoding.”

In 1992, while returning a rental car in Seattle, a light went on for Kinnick while watching an agent scan a barcode on a windshield. If a scanner could bring up her rental record, couldn’t scanning barcodes on patient wristbands pull up their medical records? How about scanning medications to verify a match before administering them to patients?

Upon returning to her hospital in Topeka, Kinnick convinced her IT department to design such a system and barcoding at the point of care was born. Because of her unflagging efforts, these medication-administration safety systems were implemented hospital-wide by 1995. Unfortunately, Sue’s passing in 1997 meant that she did not live to see the full reward of her labors. By 1999, the entire Veteran’s Administration Healthcare system adopted barcode technology, paving a path that the rest of America’s hospitals would eventually take.

“Today more than two-thirds of America’s hospitals are scanning most patients and mediations at the point of care,” notes Jamie Kelly, cofounder of The unSUMMIT. “Inestimable harm has been avoided, careers protected, and patient lives spared because of Kinnick’s ingenuity and leadership.”

According to the Institute of Medicine, medication errors are involved in 400,000 preventable drug-related injuries and 7,000 drug-related deaths each year in U.S. hospitals. Barcode scanning of patients, medications, laboratory specimens, and blood products at the point of care, combined with pharmacy and nursing best practices, prevents harm to patients and saves lives.

Receiving the 2014 Institutional Way-Paver Award is St. Alexius Medical Center of Bismarck ND.

St. Alexius was one of the first hospitals in America to use barcoding in materials management in order to improve efficiencies and lower costs. The medical center was also an early adopter of barcoding to verify patients and medications at the point of care. In addition to rigorously studying and improving its processes, St. Alexius has generously maintained an open-door policy for demonstrating its systems and sharing lessons learned with other organizations from across the nation and around the world.

A personal contribution Way-Paver Award will be presented to Frank Kilzer who, during his 46 years of service at St. Alexius, led the medical center’s bar-coding efforts. Kilzer leaves a legacy in Bismarck, ND, and beyond to healthcare systems around the globe due to his relentless commitment and success in identifying and implementing state-of-the-art bar-code technologies along with sound processes. Kilzer has generously shared his knowledge by hosting site visits, writing articles, lecturing at conferences and serving on leading national and international barcode technology work groups.

The 2014 Sue Kinnick Way-Paver for Healthcare Barcoding Awards will be presented at the Hyatt Regency New Orleans on September 18-19, 2014 at The unSUMMIT for Healthcare Barcoding’s ninth annual meeting in partnership with BlueStar’s VARTECH Solutions Show.

About the Way-Paver Award

The Sue Kinnick Way-Paver Award for Healthcare Barcoding was established by The TerraPharma Project in 2006 to honor the exceptional contributions of individuals and institutions that have helped clear the path and accelerate the adoption of barcode technologies in hospitals across North America. Previous institutional recipients include Brigham and Women’s Hospital, Hospital Corporation of America, Veterans Health Administration, Lancaster General Hospital, WellSpan Health, Southwestern Vermont Medical Center, and the FDA. Previous individual recipients include Michael Cohen, founder of the Institute for Safe Medication Practices (ISMP), Kenneth Barker of Auburn University, John Roberts of GS1 US Healthcare, and John Santell of US Pharmacopeia. To learn more about the award, go to

About TerraPharma Project LLC

The TerraPharma Project, LLC (TTP) of Bellevue, WA, is a peer-to-peer education exchange, fueled by the conviction that healthcare barcode technology is low-hanging fruit that delivers high returns for patient safety. Committed to promoting the adoption of barcoding in hospitals across the nation, TTP produces The unSUMMIT for Healthcare Barcoding ( and the online Point of Care Forum (

About BlueStar

BlueStar is the leading global distributor of solutions-based ADC, Mobility, Point-of-Sale, RFID, Digital Signage, and Security technology. BlueStar works exclusively with value-added resellers to provide complete solutions, business development and marketing support. The company brings unequaled expertise to the market, offers award-winning technical support and is an authorized service center for a growing number of manufacturers.

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