Small Size & Big Impact: Bar Code Scanners and Healthcare Technology

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smart phone scanning a barcodeErroneous medical records are a big reason for healthcare mismanagement. Bad documentation allows for mistakes such as administering the wrong dosage and mislabeling blood samples. Inaccuracies such as these bloat budgets and compromise patients’ lives.

A solution? Bar code scanners, which cut medical errors and promote patient safety. The most innovative of the wireless scanners is the Motorola CS4070-HC. Using scanners has several positive outcomes. Patients receive better care and healthcare staff members do their jobs with trust and efficiency.

Here’s a look at the benefits of Motorola scanners and their impact on the healthcare sector.

Motorola Scanner Attributes

The design of the CS4070-HC aligns with healthcare system needs:

  • The scanner is adaptable to any bar code surface, such as screens, IV bags, and syringes.
  • Ergonomically sound, the small and light scanner wears on a lanyard or tucks safely in a pocket.
  • The battery holds enough power for a 12-hour shift.
  • The scanner is Bluetooth-ready.
  • The button handles more than a million presses.
  • The visual and audible modes allow for “do-not-disturb” options to keep patients from waking.

Good Clean Records

The typical routine before the introduction of scanning was this: the nurse checks the central nursing station for orders and writes down each order. He or she then compares the patient chart with the handwritten order before completing it.

This scanner creates a new scenario: the nurse skips the nursing station and scans the patient’s wristband. The patient receives the right dosage of the right medication. Records are immediately updated, and those on the next shift can see the previously administered dose.

Stats don’t lie. A study performed under contract to the Pennsylvania Patient Safety Authority indicates that bar code scanners reduce medication errors by 65% to 86%.

Specimen Security

More than 160,000 errors result each year due to improper identification of tissue, blood, and urine samples. Motorola’s bar code scanner creates a definitive three-way check to prevent these issues. The specimen order, the patient’s wristband, and the label on the patient’s specimen container are all scanned. Test results can be gathered quickly, giving doctors a correct assessment for efficient treatment.

Infections Eliminated

Centers for Disease Control and Prevention survey of U.S. hospitals estimates that on any given day, one in 25 hospital patients have at least one healthcare-associated infection. Motorola’s CS4070-HC scanner comes in a disinfectant-ready plastic. This protection allows wiping down with various bacterial cleaners for germ prevention.

The Ideal IT Job

With the rise of bar code scanners, Information Technology students should consider a healthcare IT job. Myra Davis of the Texas Children’s Hospital states, “In healthcare, there is an increasing dependency on technology that wasn’t there before.” The industry is stable, and it’s a career where students know that they will take care of people. Healthcare IT technology is one the top five growing industries. Job pay ranges from $70,000 to more than six figures for top-level IT positions. Plus, the increase in the aging population means more hospital visits.

Innovations such as the Motorola scanner allow the healthcare industry to return to the idealistic notion of personal care. Patients receive critical care minus errors. Doctors and nurses can offer observations minus red tape. The demand for IT healthcare careers means more jobs coupled with honest and stable work.

Not bad for a little device that fits in a pocket.

Image via Flickr by Intel Free Press