Improve Patient Outcomes with Barcode-Scanning Smartphones
It’s surprising how many lives barcode scanning saves in healthcare. Barcode scanning makes it easy for clinicians to keep track of patients, treatments, medications and supplies. And by doing so, it reduces the chances that clerical errors from manually entering data can impact patient outcomes.
Today, most hospitals use some combination of handheld scanners, laptops, cell phones and sometimes even pagers. This model could be vastly improved by taking the capabilities of each of these devices and putting them into one purpose-built smartphone. This is precisely what we’ve done at Spectralink. Our smartphones with built-in barcode scanners help clinicians securely access and share information in multiple ways that improve the quality of care your organization can provide.
Here are four key clinical workflows that our barcode-scanning smartphones enable that improve patient care and increase staff productivity.
#1 Identifying patients and documenting treatments
As healthcare practices have converted to electronic medical records, they typically adopt solutions that integrate a handheld barcode scanner into EHR software downloaded on a laptop computer. So clinicians need to carry (or wheel) a laptop and a scanner from room to room to document their treatment.
A smarter way to leverage barcodes is with smartphone scanners that integrate with HIPAA-compliant EHR applications. Using the barcode scanners built into Spectralink smartphones, medical staff can pull up patient identification and treatment documentation instantly on their mobile phones. When administering medicine, they automatically take the important step of verifying that the patient ID number on the bracelet matches the ID on the medicine.
#2 Ensuring seamless shift changes
Barcode scanning technology is incredibly valuable for shift changes in hospitals since it makes patient hand-offs more seamless. With smartphone barcode scanners, clinicians don’t need to look up digital copies of patient information and treatment protocols at a workstation. Instead, they can just scan a patient’s wristband and they already have all the information they need right on their smartphone. This allows them to attend to patients more quickly and make rounds faster.
#3 Keeping track of supplies and materials
Barcodes help medical staff keep track of supplies like surgical instruments, wheelchairs and bandages. But scanning with one device and using a laptop to display information makes the process less efficient than it needs to be. Smartphone scanners display inventory information right in the same device, eliminating the need for extraneous devices like laptops and scanners. This allows doctors and nurses to move more freely from patient bedsides to supply rooms. It also allows staff to coordinate supply usage with maximum efficiency.
#4 Ensuring accuracy with specimens and test results
Barcodes help ensure things like specimens and test results don’t get mixed up, especially when patients have the same or similar names. Smartphone barcode scanners simplify the task of identifying patients’ samples and test results. You simply scan the barcode and the results appear on your phone.
Smartphones that support and unify healthcare workflows
We’ve taken technologies that previously required standalone scanners and computers and built them into a single, lightweight smartphone for managing all types of medical information, notification, documentation and communication.
Our Versity Series smartphones are purpose-built for use in clinical settings. Choosing to include our built-in barcode scanner technology allows you to put some of the main tools practitioners need in one easy-to-use handheld device. This makes it faster and easier to document patient treatments and, in turn, attend to patients more efficiently. It also reduces your total cost of ownership and eliminates the difficulty of integrating various IT solutions.
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