How Medical Tablets Barcode Scanners Are Reducing Errors in Healthcare

Technology is dramatically changing health care as we know it. Patient care is improving. The speed in which medical decisions are being made about a patient’s care is quicker than ever. Electronic medical record (EMR) is making it easier for doctors and nurses to collaborate. As technology continues to fuel changes in the medical field, it should come as no surprise that new devices, designed specifically to enhance patient safety and simultaneously improve record-keeping accuracy, are emerging. Medical tablets that feature barcode scanners are one such piece of technology.

Here are a few ways they are benefitting hospitals.

BENEFIT 1: Reducing Admission Errors

Medical tablets that feature barcode scanners help improve the process of hospital admissions while keeping errors at bay. When a patient is admitted, a special wristband is printed out that features a barcode unique to that particular individual for that particular visit. A nurse can then easily scan the barcode using a barcode scanner on a medical grade tablet or attached to a desktop computer and begin recording information about the patient. This ensures there are no mistakes when recording pertinent information including the reason for admission, the room in which the patient is located, insurance and billing information, and the course of treatment, including supplies used and medications administered.

BENEFIT 2: Reducing Hospital Care Errors

Patients don’t always have the same doctor or nurse caring for them. With many hands involved in the process, without a system that recognizes what medication needs to be administered and what was given previously, errors are inevitable.  Using a medical tablet with a barcode system eliminates these types of errors.

When a nurse scans the medication and the patient’s wristband, the barcode software knows the proper amount that needs to be administered. If the wrong patient is scanned, then the medication cannot be dispensed. In the past, without a safeguard in place, a patient might have received incorrect medication.

Here are other problems that medical grade tablets with barcode scanners eliminate:

  • Misinterpretations of a patient’s chart
  • Incomplete or improper transcriptions
  • Faulty dose checking
  • Communication breakdowns
  • Adverse effects between different medicines

BENEFIT 3: Reducing Pharmacy Errors

Pharmacies play a vital role in improving the health of patients. Pharmacies can’t afford to make mistakes when people’s lives hang in the balance. With a barcode scanner, the information is uploaded the patient’s EMR. The pharmacist ensures the medication has a barcode before it leaves the pharmacy and makes its way to the nurse in charge.

The doctor decides the right level of medication and the pharmacy knows the correct amount to administer. Communication between doctor, nurse and pharmacy are in sync because the system updates so that any health professional using a medical tablet can easily access the information as it’s needed, in real time.

Without a barcode scanner in place, other problems can also potentially arise, including drug- stocking problems and a lack of standardization, which is critical for ensuring incorrect dosages don’t happen.

As technology continues to improve, it’s now more important than ever to be at the forefront of the latest technological advances in the medical field.  Medical grade tablets that feature barcode scanners will continue to improve patient care as we know it, including reducing errors. This means less indecisiveness and quicker decisions will be made because information will be more readily available – and accessible. The end result will be better record-keeping and patient care.

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