8 Ways Barcode Technologies Improve Patient Care

Did you know that barcode scanners actually read the white spaces instead of the black? As it turns out, there are a lot of things that most people don’t understand about barcodes.

The first thing you might think of when you hear the word barcode is a grocery store. However, barcodes have been used in healthcare for many years with lots of positive effects.

This article is going to explain 8 reasons why barcode technologies have revolutionized patient care.

1. Patient Bracelets

Every time you go to a hospital nowadays, you’ll be given a bracelet with a barcode on it. You may not understand why, but these little barcode bracelets could save your life and countless others.

When a nurse or doctor scans your bracelet, they have all of your necessary information. This ensures that you’re getting the correct treatment. Although it’s unlikely, sometimes patient files can get mixed.

If someone in the room next to you needs their appendix removed, your bracelet will make sure that you’re never the one lying open on the surgical table. This technology has saved many hours and pain of unnecessary medical treatments.

This barcode also expedites your stay. Doctors no longer need to carry every file on hand. One scan is all it takes to pull your entire medical history up on the screen in front of them.

Updates to your files are also easily saved and stored in the hospital’s database. This ensures that everyone who examines you is up to date on every illness or medication you’ve had.

2. Accurate Medicine

Barcodes also help patients receive the exact amount of medication they need at the correct time. When a nurse scans patients’ medication bracelets, they are able to see which dose they need based on their weight and height.

Drugs can be administered through an IV or taken orally. Scanning the barcode will tell the medical professional how to administer the drug and how often the patient needs another dose. Using a medicine barcode scanner has decreased human error as much as 27% in some cases when it comes to administering drugs.

Additionally, patients will no longer receive expired medication that isn’t as effective at treating their condition. Barcodes include an expiration date to inform hospitals when it’s time to replace the unused medication.

3. Barcode Technologies For Lab Tests

It’s a doctor’s and patient’s worst nightmare to deal with a false diagnosis. Imagine being told you have cancer because your test tube got switched with someone else’s?

Barcodes eliminate any confusion in the lab. Results won’t get lost or confused.

What’s most impressive is that medical labels have been designed to withstand severe temperatures, being submerged in liquids, and being treated with harsh chemicals.

With this design, labels can remain in perfect condition for any healthcare barcode scanner to retrieve all of the information.

4. Streamlining Supply Management

Hospitals never have to worry about running out of supplies again. Every time a healthcare professional uses a material, they can scan it. Each scan can be used for inventory management.

Suppliers can order materials with plenty of time before a shortage occurs. Hospitals also don’t have to worry about having too much of any product, either. Since medical supplies can expire, balancing on the line between too much and too little now becomes effortless with barcodes.

5. Saving Lives With Blood

The FDA requires that all blood donations have a barcode. The barcode identity stores all of the donor’s information including the blood type. Nurses and doctors will always know that their patient is receiving the correct blood type from a healthy donor.

Since patients who require blood transfusions are usually classified as medical emergencies, this process has to be as fast as possible. If a patient is given the wrong blood type in the rush against the clock, they could die.

Incorrect blood types are treated as foreign enemies inside the body. On top of suffering from massive blood loss, the patient’s body also has to battle itself. The seriousness of this condition makes barcode technology that much more important in healthcare.

6. Less Money And Time Wasted

Professionals have estimated that US healthcare wastes a whopping $765 billion dollars annually. Human error can attribute to a lot of these losses.

Maintaining accurate health records can’t be achieved through the manual data entry some hospitals still use. You have to admit, if you spent every day staring at numbers, you’d go cross-eyed. Would you feel comfortable relying on someone with tired eyes to properly file your health records?

These kinds of mistakes cost thousands of lives. When errors are made, a patient may not get the treatment they need immediately.

Barcodes and scanners can do all of the work for us. Their speed and accuracy means that no more patients are endangered through delayed or incorrect treatments.

7. Tracking Capabilities

When everything has a barcode, that means everything has a proper place. Workspaces can become more organized than ever before.

Hospitals can also use tracking to know when more supplies will come. This streamlines the entire process of unpacking each shipment.

Damaged goods can also easily be returned. As soon as the shipment has been tracked back to the distributor, the hospital can expect to get a refund in a timely manner.

8. Increased Accountability

Although it’s taboo to discuss, some medical professionals who have access to prescription pills or other expensive items steal. It rarely happens, but there are still news reports about it each year.

Barcodes increase everyone’s accountability when handling drugs. The information that’s stored each time a drug is accessed makes it impossible for anyone to get away with using drugs for any other purpose than treating patients.

Ready To Revolutionise Your Business?

Now that you understand how barcodes can improve healthcare, you probably want to know how you can use them in your own workplace. For the past 15 years, Intermax has been helping companies from all industries implement barcode technologies to increase the quality of their work.

If you have any questions about how our services can change the way you do business forever, please contact us.

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