Have you ever wondered how barcode technology assist hospitals in running their daily operations and how do they keep patients safe?
How does it increase operational efficiency?
Healthcare industry emphasis on patient safety and care for which the doctors, nurses, administrators, and staff aims and focus on improving the concern every day.
This is the fact that even the most skilled and veteran doctors and practitioners are not immune to the occasional human error. They also get sick, exhausted and over-tired.
Along with the safety of patients surrounded by challenges, the healthcare industry has more work to do like to manage information.
On a daily basis, hospitals deal with the complications of inventory, tracking materials, patient validation, etc.
With all this information fed manually is prone to lots of human error.
The technology has developed a lot in a few past decades, due to which the humankind has grown better with incredible advancements in the field of patient safety.
One of these prodigious technologies is barcode technology. It has shown a tremendous impact on the healthcare industry.
The barcode technology has increased patient safety, their identification and other improved operational efficiencies.
Barcode technology provides an easy-to-use and cost-effective solution to all the complex problems that run inside the hospitality industry.
These barcodes allow quick and accurate data entry for the healthcare industry, supporting precious time to be spent in increasing efficiencies instead of manually entering the data.
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5 benefits of implementing barcode scanners into your healthcare facility:
1. Safety of Patient
Barcode solutions in the healthcare industry help in organizing the patient admittance process, track their medication and care admission, and identification of patients through their admission period.
The barcode wristbands are created for the patients at the time of their admission with their specific information, which is continuously updated on the basis of the patient's need.
All the patient's records like medical report, medication and specimen samples are tagged with barcode labels. These labels are of great help to doctors and nurses for the easy scan to track critical patient's information.
For instance, if a patient is needed to be medicated, first the nurse can create the barcode wristband just by using the mobile printer, which is placed right beside the patient's bed.
After this, whenever the medication will be administered, anyone nurse or doctor just need to scan the patient's wristband and the barcode on the medication, and the information will be automatically recorded in the patient's medical record.
The barcode technology also makes sure of the treatment administered to the patient, so that correct treatment should be given and continued to the right patient. This ultimately reduces errors and ensures patient safety.
Importance of barcode solution is also seen in the workflows and its related changes in hospitals and healthcare practices.
Barcode technology helps practitioners and doctors to see all the previous notes along with the medical information attached to the unique barcode label linked to each patient.
Similarly, when in need the medical staff can also access the records easily and see the location of the patient in terms of its medication cycle and about other care and therapies that patient may require.
Through the efficient work of the nurses and doctors and their care towards the patients during their shift actually saves the hospitals time as well as resources.
As of advanced technology being practiced in the healthcare industry, the use of electronic medical appliances and records, barcode solutions have almost eliminated manual data collection.
Nowadays, the patient's information is easily and instantly collected and recorded that too electronically, which further reduced manpower.
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2. Easy to Use
Healthcare is the profession and industry are the places, where the prime focus is always patients, rather technology used to treat them that is secondary.
Therefore, any technology that happens to be used in the healthcare industry should fit seamlessly into existing software solutions and infrastructure.
Just like barcode technology solutions, it can use both thermal and laser printers. Hospitals that have already installed laser printers can easily implement a barcode tracking system.
This is just a myth that any new technology will be complicated and will have a learning curve. It is just over its use and implementation.
For example, the barcode technology printers and scanners are so easy to use even for the nurses unknowledgeable about the technology.
The barcode printers are small, durable, ambulant. The cartridges can also be changed quickly.
3. Wristband Efficiency
Before the implementation of any new technology, planning and testing for its seamless adoption are required and processed.
Similarly, it is in the case of barcode wristband labels, they have to be worn by the patients throughout, therefore, they should be durable and should meet the needs of patients, clinicians, and healthcare practitioners.
For the testing of these barcode wristbands, these are worn by the staff members of the hospital for the whole long day doing their daily chores. So, their durability and efficiency can be checked before their implementation.
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Using a high-quality wristband and printer, the wrist band would work seamless and efficient after the duration of 10 days also, being totally intact and being able to scan immediately, even after working in variety example, taking showers, washing dishes and working among chemicals.
This testing is important for the wristbands as they had to stay in good condition for the period of patient's stay to provide continuous and accurate identification with tracking and recording of the patients.
4. Inventory Control
Inventory control is a complex process in the healthcare industry to deal with as it consumes a lot of time.
Barcodes have helped the industry in managing its inventory regardless of where they are located. As a result, the right materials and equipment are available whenever and wherever they are needed.
Barcode scanning of products speeds up the re-order process as well. The system is enabled to automatically re-order products when they reach a specific inventory level (surgical utensils, medicines, equipment, etc.).
5. Track of Materials
Barcodes also assist in tracking the medical supplies (medicines, bandages, etc.) given to a particular patient while treatment and also identifies the clinician who used it with the patient.
Moreover, barcodes are also used to track the item straight from the manufacturer, which allows the defective items to be refunded by the distributor.
And anything that can be identified with numbers or letters can be tracked using barcodes like medical records and laboratory results.
The healthcare industry is changing itself every day from new medication and treatments to new legislation.
In certain ways, barcode technology solution helps daily processes to make them more accurate and increase operational efficiencies.
As the system provides easy integration, a small learning curve, and high-quality products, barcode technology allows practitioners to focus more on their patients, ensuring the safety of their patients and providing the best care possible on the premises.
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Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)
1. What is barcode scanning in healthcare?
The barcode scanning makes sure of the treatment administered to the patient, so that correct treatment should be given and continued to the right patient ensuring patient safety and reduced errors. The scanning of products automatically re-order products when they reach a specific inventory level (surgical utensils, medicines, equipment, etc.).
2. What is the purpose of the barcode?
The purpose of barcodes is to allow quick and accurate data entry for every industry, supporting precious time to be spent in increasing efficiencies instead of manually entering the data. Barcodes help in the track of sales of products and the organization's relationships with their customers.
3. What do barcode scanners do?
Barcode scanners read printed barcodes and decode the data stored in the barcode and send it to the computer. It uses Optical Technology like infrared light to scan the data. Some of the barcode scanners use integrated decoders while some have two different units for reading and decoding the barcode.