Healthcare Barcode Scanning 101

Blood and Saline Bag–Complicated Scanning Made Easy!

Posted by Healthcare Staff Reporter on Nov 8, 2018 2:14:18 PM


So Many Barcodes, So Little Time

blood-bag-codesFor patients who need a blood transfusion the barcode labeling is truly life or death scanning. With so many barcodes to scan on a single blood bag, the process of trying to hide and scan the right ones, in the right order adds just a wee bit of stress. IV bags pose a different problem sporting a single white barcode printed on the bag which is then encased inside of another clear bag adding layers of reflected complication. Is there a solution for scanning complicated barcodes and parsing only correct information needed ignoring the rest? Why, yes there is a solution, it is called Code. 

The healthcare industry has focused on addressing this issue by adopting new processes and technology to combat human error in the labeling of transparent bags.

Barcodes, Barcodes, Barcodes

Historically, blood transfusion required two nurses to be available for the whole process because of the careful checking of whether the medication or blood matched the patient. Barcodes and reliable readers significantly cut down on the human error but issues still loom. Reading these barcodes is a time consuming and more complicated process. It isn't your typical point, scan, beep–next process. Blood bags have so many barcodes the readers light up like a Christmas tree and the nurses are not sure which of the barcodes was read. IV bags might only have a single barcode, but it is printed white and most scanner just can't perform the task.

code_hospital_-122Overall barcodes have delivered process improvements for every healthcare workflow and offered valuable checks and balances ensuring patient safety, nurses just simply need their barcode scanners to work as hard as they do. That means they need the ability to read these very difficult barcodes with zero-miss efficiency.  

Barcode scanning technology requires contrast for accurate reads. If the barcode in question doesn’t show enough contrast between its light and dark elements, scanners fail to register any information. Saline bags are the perfect example of this with their white barcodes printed on the transparent material of the bag. It is hard for a lot of basic barcode readers to pick up, plus the added illumination makes the code all but disappear. This would require nurses to devise a creative solution to add a solid color behind the bag while simultaneously trying to scan the barcode. Not very easy or efficient.

Blood bags have 4, 5, 6, or more barcodes printed on the front label. Each barcode used for a different purpose and serving a specific function. To put it simply, a basic barcode reader just gets confused and will scan the barcode that is the easiest to scan. Often it has trouble focusing on a specific barcode. Nurses find themselves again trying to work around the problem covering up barcodes they didn't want to scan, in order to encourage the scanning of the ones they need. Again, not so helpful or efficient right?

Code to the Rescue

That’s where Code readers come in. With Code, healthcare professionals can scan once and be done. Code ensures that scanners can read omni-directionally and against all types of backgrounds making colored barcode or contrast issues no longer a problem. Code readers are one of the only, if not the only barcode scanners that will read the white barcode on saline bags with ease and accuracy (mic drop).  Code healthcare readers are customizable to read all the barcode you need on a blood bags in a single scan. Code readers will automatically block the codes you don't want scanned. Genius? We think so. It is time to get the job done quicker and easier with Code. 

Code makes sure to provide the most simple and reliable blood and saline bag scanning experience possible.

Topics: Data Capture, barcode scanning, Code, Healthcare, barcode reading, healthcare data capture, Healthcare Workflow, patient safety, healthcare barcode scanning, blood bag, Blood bag scanning, saline bag, saline bag scanning

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