Barcode Label Solutions Blog

Barcode Labels in Healthcare

Posted by Susan Fields

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Using barcode labels in healthcare applications improves facility efficiency by increasing patient safety and reducing the likelihood of medication errors. Barcode labels are not just for hands-on patient care, either; they may also be used in other healthcare applications.

Using Barcode Labels in Healthcare to Help Patients
Moving to a barcode tracking system immediately streamlines the administrative side of patient care.
• Patients will be issued a barcode wristband upon admission
• This barcode both provides identification for the patient and connects them to their electronic medical information
• When medication needs to be administered, a quick scan of both the wristband barcode and barcode label on the medication will immediately verify prescription and treatment information

In short, incorporating barcode labels in healthcare routines helps ensure the five rights of patient medication safety: providing the right dosage of the right medication at the right time to the right patient via the right route.

Meeting Regulations
In 2004, the FDA announced that certain usages of barcode labels in healthcare applications would be mandatory, specifically on blood containers and prescription drugs. Container barcodes can be scanned quickly to verify information at every step of the process, whether tracking down donor information for blood and specimens, or tracking down suppliers for pharmaceutical components. Barcode labeling reduces errors related to blood and blood components, as well as offering effective tracking for pharmaceuticals.

Reducing Costs
Finally, through the use of barcode labels, many costly medical mistakes may be reduced or eliminated. This will not only save money through the reduction of conducting lab tests twice or correcting costly errors, but also through reduced malpractice insurance costs and fewer lawsuits. Combining increased patient safety measures with more transparent and efficient blood component and pharmaceutical tracking and storage will save money in the long run. Plus, barcode labels in healthcare settings will help to improve the overall patient experience.

To learn more about the uses of barcodes in healthcare, download our new eBook, Healthcare and Barcodes.

patient safety


Tags: barcode labels, healthcare