Traditionally, the healthcare industry has been slow to adopt new technologies; however, this trend has changed due to an increased understanding of how bar code scanning technology can benefit the industry. The healthcare industry is unique from other industries using bar codes in that its primary purpose is not improved inventory control, asset tracking, and data management. While these are real benefits, the ultimate purpose is for patient safety.
As the most widely used and cost effective AIDC solution, healthcare organizations are using bar code scanning systems to advance patient safety from admittance to post care services. With the ability to capture data without human interference, bar code scanning has revolutionized the way hospitals collect information. Now error-prone manual process can be eliminated to improve patient safety, patient care as well as the productivity of medical teams.
Currently, there is a big push to adopt healthcare information technologies (HIT) like bar code scanners to upgrade EHR (Electronic Health Record) systems and other healthcare activities. Government incentives, such as funding provided by the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act (ARRA), are rewarding hospitals and private physicians for investing in these technologies in effort to standardize healthcare processes globally. If these technologies are not implemented, healthcare institutes could face serious financial penalties.
Hospitals provide a wide range of patient treatments through specialized medical teams...
Laboratories perform tests on specimens in order to acquire information about the health of a patient. Bar code scanning systems augment the lab's ability to provide a quick and accurate diagnosis for the treatment and prevention of disease with tracking and traceability capabilities. Additionally, these systems can provide patient specimen verification to ensure the correct sample is connected to the correct patient. Laboratory work can also be guaranteed to ensure the right tests are preformed according to the doctor's orders.
When used within labss, equipment and devices must be regularly cleaned to limit the spread of germs in order to provide the best patient care and protect employees in direct contact with infected patients and specimens. Datalogic specifically addresses this need with 'Disinfectant-Ready' enclosures designed with special silver ion-based additives to withstand daily cleaning with harsh disinfectant chemical solutions. This allows the scanner to be safely cleaned to effectively fight against germs and bacteria without the plastic enclosure degrading overtime.
Specimen Verification and Tracking Tracking specimens in a laboratory is when the product is scanned systematically with a bar code reader in each step of the analysis process. From collection to the results, bar code scanners can be used to track, trace and verify patient samples through each laboratory process. By capturing patient sample data automatically, the laboratory staff can be confident that the proper specimen is collected, the correct tests are performed and the results are delivered to the correct patient as quickly as possible.
Testing Management One of the most common mistakes in healthcare is incorrect testing caused by poor testing management. Bar code scanning technology is the ideal solution to solve this problem by automatically collecting sample data to enhance the accuracy and productivity of laboratory staff. This allows better management of thousands of samples at one time. In fact, tasks can be performed twice as fast and with better data quality when using bar code readers. As a result, results are reported faster, allowing doctors to make a more timely diagnosis. Using bar code labels also allows laboratories to verify samples, protecting patients and preventing costly repeat testing that often leads to a poor patient experience.
Inventory Management Using mobile computers or bar code scanners, a cost-saving inventory management system can be created to track important supplies, materials and equipment. A reliable and accurate database for complete and partial inventory levels can be maintained by simply scanning items when used and when new materials are received. The collected data can be uploaded to a central computer system in regular batches or in real time. This allows for better forecasting, reducing the chance of stock-outs, overstocks, and emergency shipments.
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