How Hospitals Are Boosting Patient Care With Barcodes

Doctor using a laptop computer contact with patient. Concepts of technology communication, medical online network.

The next time you go to hospital, pay special attention to the band affixed to your wrist in triage. Notice the printed barcode? Once the nurse clasps it to you, watch as she places stickers to your charts and patient folder. Each sticker will bear the same code as the one on your wrist and identifies you in the computer system, just as your tax ID or driver’s license number.

Now, whenever someone comes to check your vitals or administer medication, your band will first be scanned. Just as you might see a cashier run a package of gum along the register, the nurse will use a hand-held scanner over your code and instantly identify you, log the date and time of the check, and access your files. Patient information such as your present medical issue, known allergies, and prescribed remedies will be accessible of a linked tablet or hand system.

A handheld system, like Wasp’s DR2 mobile computer or WWS150i pocket scanner, would easily fit in scrub pockets alongside a pressure cuff or thermometer. If the facility in question happens to issue mobile devices to staff members, upload a barcode scanning app and choose a printer suitable for your environment.

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Patient profiles and medications aren’t the only possibilities for these scans. Imagine the complexity of a surgical procedure: How many instruments will you require? How many people will be involved? How much time could be dedicated? How likely is it those involved might not be quite at full steam when they get to filling out the required paperwork?

Scan employee badges and find yourself with a completed roster from the start. Scan coded instruments and medications to get a full supply list instantly accessible, plus with the benefit of automated alerts against and allergens or dangerous medication interactions. Drastically reduce the chances that human error and fatigue will compromise the integrity of your staff and procedures and the safety of your patients.

A nurse is preparing medicine for a patient. She uses the computer in the room to log in and check all the information for the patient. RM

What of your supply stocks? Like any other business, hospitals retain certain amounts of inventory with limited space and shelf lives. Great Ormond Street Hospital (G.O.S.H.) looked to save time on inventory that might better be spent on patient care through the use of Wasp’s Inventory Control system. By streamlining the inventory process, G.O.S.H. could make certain it held adequate supplies, reduced shrinkage due to expiration, and ordered only what the facility needed and would use. The facility could also audit supplies in the event of accidental – or, if the case arose – intentional misuse of supplies.


Related Article: HOW BARCODES ARE MAKING HOSPITALS IN THE UK SAFER AND MORE EFFICIENT

As an additional benefit to patients, G.O.S.H. used this system to accurately measure the amount of stock used per procedure. The removal of estimates, human error, and averaged quantities means patients won’t see an overcharge for unused goods. Instead, they can request and receive an itemized report of proper amounts and procedural costs.

Instantaneous updates. Accurate measurements. Detailed records. Reduced human error. More time to focus on patient care and comfort. Barcodes seem to be the proper prescription for ailing methods.

Brian Sutter

Brian Sutter

Director of Marketing at Wasp Barcode
Brian Sutter is the Director of Marketing at Wasp, responsible for the development and execution of the company’s marketing strategy. His role encompasses brand management, direct and channel marketing, public relations, advertising, and social media. He also writes and speaks on topics related to helping small business owners grow their business and improve operational efficiency.
Brian Sutter
Brian Sutter
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