Barcode Technology Transforming Healthcare
Given the high cost of effective healthcare, technology is playing an increasingly important role in the sector. The humble barcode, in both 1-dimensional and 2-dimensional form, is playing a significant role in reducing cost and increasing efficiency.
The benefits of barcode technology can be found in the following areas.
Managing inventories in a healthcare setting is complex and time-consuming. Barcode technology enables critical supplies, such as dressings and pharmaceuticals, to be ordered in the correct quantities for optimal stock control and patient care. Barcodes can also be used to track “health assets” such as surgical devices and utensils, which may be faulty or go missing.
From a “best practice” and legal perspective, healthcare providers are required to have positive identification processes in place to ensure that patients are given the correct treatment. By scanning the barcode on a patient’s wristband, a medical professional can confirm a patient’s identity and treatment regimen.
Tracking of Medications, Laboratory Samples and Medical Staff
Barcodes can be used to track and identify medications, medical aids, laboratory samples and medical staff. The resulting information can be used to populate an electronic patient record. With its automatic data capture capabilities, barcoding simplifies and speeds up records management.