Barcode Scanners and Healthcare Go Hand-in-Hand

Posted by Kim Justesen on Mar 10, 2020 5:00:00 AM
Kim Justesen

A lot like peas and carrots or Sonny and Cher, certain things belong together. Barcode scanning has the outstanding ability to support healthcare’s leading performance and make it even better. How, you might ask? By reducing or even eliminating adverse drug events (ADEs), increasing patient safety, and eliminating transcription errors. Government mandates have made data capture solutions a necessary part of operations at every healthcare facility. Aside from regulations, data capture solutions ensure patient safety through iterative checks and documentation. Unique identifiers (barcodes) are attached to patients, medications, equipment, and pretty much every item located in a healthcare setting for track and trace purposes. Additionally, cleaning, inventory, and hospitality crews use data capture solutions to track room cleanings, patient nutrition, and equipment maintenance. Those little barcodes have a very big job.

So why does it matter?

It matters because each workflow may require various types of barcode scanners to keep things running efficiently, and despite what you may have been told, not all barcode scanners are created equal.

Barcode scanners used for hospitals with inpatient bedside medication administration, or emergency departments, for example, are scrutinized by infection control teams due to the scanner’s proximity to patients. These workflows require a completely sealed barcode scanner that can hold up to the constant cleaning and sanitizing throughout each shift. Inventory crews don’t require the same sterilization standards but may need to handle multiple barcodes at high speeds all at the same time.

There are three basic types of barcode scanners designed for handling a wide range of tasks:

  1. Tethered(attached to a PC)
  2. Bluetooth (like your favorite speaker) or
  3. Mobile units (can move from room to room)

Tethered units are predominantly used in clinical workflows like outpatient doctors’ offices, pharmacies, and such. Generally, tethered units are more budget-friendly, but their cords tend to get in the way when used in an inpatient setting. Inpatient environments are more complex. With IVs and cords from monitoring equipment, access to scanning patient wrist bands and medications can create a challenge. 

Bluetooth technologies have a competitive advantage: a small, cordless form factor allows clinicians to move freely in a room and maneuver around a patient in a way that’s less disruptive to the patient. Bluetooth barcode scanners offer clinicians freedom and increase patient interaction and satisfaction. The disadvantage of Bluetooth scanners is they’re dependent upon a connection to a computer.

Mobile products are the scanner and computer in one device. They can be used in the same fashion as Bluetooth units but don’t require a PC connection. Mobile scanners run mobile versions of the EHR software application, and several of the mobile EHR applications have built-in barcode reading. This equates to the perfect solution for the complicated hospital environment.

Product-to-environment matching is key when choosing a barcode reader.

Code Corporation has developed products to meet each of the three stated scenarios. The CR1500 tethered scanner is the industry-leading product for clinical workflows. With its disinfectant-ready, IP54 rated housing and small form factor, clinicians can easily handle this scanner all day and rely on its performance.  The CR2600 and CR2700 are favorites of nurses and are best-in-class Bluetooth scanners; they are disinfectant ready and IP65 rated – the only IP65 rated scanners on the market. The small form factor combined with highly reliant Bluetooth technology is perfect for bedside applications.

Code’s two mobility products, CR4400 and CR4300N, offer flexibility for various workflows. Be it inpatient bedside or supporting roles like cleaning or hospitality crews, Code has built these units with disinfectant-ready plastics. The CR4400 houses the iPhone SE and iPod 6th generation. Its fully enclosed form factor with an external swappable battery is built to last. It fits perfectly in clinicians’ hands, is lightweight, and has customers raving. The CR4300N’s open concept provides healthcare facilities a streamlined option for supporting roles that need to move from room to room.  

Code barcode scanners continue to be favored in performance, form factor, and durability in healthcare. They not only scan faster, but they accurately decode when others can’t even seem to get started. The patented algorithm powering our decoding technology is consistently unmatched. What does that mean for your workflow? No matter the tiny size, curved surface, color, or damage to the barcode, you will get the best results from a Code barcode reader and keep your team moving.

There’s not a one-size-fits-all scanner. If you’re unsure where to start, gather information on your team’s workflows and connect with a Code professional. Expect More.


Topics: barcode scanning, Code, Healthcare, Healthcare Innovation, Code Corporation, Mobility, Bluetooth, Healthcare Workflow, patient safety, Medication Administration, healthcare barcode scanning, blood bag, bedside patient safety, Blood bag scanning, saline bag, saline bag scanning, bedside point of care, barcode technology, Bluetooth®5, CortexDecoder, Health Information Systems, healthcare mobility

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