Article | April 20, 2016

Enhance Patient Safety With Better Barcoding

barcode

By David Crist, senior vice president of sales & marketing for Brother Mobile Solutions

Hospitals seeking to conquer the stubbornly persistent problem of patient safety can start by expanding the adoption of barcoding technology into all areas of the hospital, from the patient room to the lab to the pharmacy. Although barcoding outcomes to date may have fallen short of expectations, it’s important to recognize that both the technology and utilization are maturing, providing the opportunity to make great strides toward improved safety and quality of care at a fraction of the time and cost investment required for an enterprise-wide electronic health record (EHR) implementation.

So why has barcoding fallen short in healthcare? The vast majority of hospitals have implemented some type of barcode system, primarily for patient identification and medication administration. However, the persistently high rate of patient error and adverse medical events indicates that most healthcare systems are not using the technology to its fullest potential.