The benefits barcode data collection has provided to retailers, manufacturers and countless others over the past 40 years are innumerable, and now barcode data collection software is being increasingly applied in hospital settings to help medical care providers more efficiently treat patients.
For example, the Huron Perth Healthcare Alliance in Stratford, Ontario, recently instituted a new inventory management system that helps staffers find, catalog and store new and already purchased surgical supplies. Previously, the medical care facility had one main storage room that housed all of the hospital's critical care equipment. However, healthcare providers had to manually search for, store and retrieve any of the supplies they needed. As a result, doctors and nurses were spending too much time searching in vain for the right tool or making sure new equipment was placed in the correct area, hospital staff member Jimmy Trieu wrote in a recent article for Outpatient Surgery Magazine.
To address this issue, the medical care provider took inspiration from car manufacturer BMW's automation strategy and used a barcode data collection software-based system. Now, Trieu said staff members have a far easier time finding the right piece of equipment and placing everything in its set compartment every time.
"Rather than using the old 'grocery store' method of going up and down aisles to pick supplies, the carousels truly bring the inventory to the point of use," he wrote. The software integrates with our [operating room] system to pull the supplies from our preference cards and send them to the carousel. The ability to shift savings on manpower helps to make up for the high price tag. We are deploying staff much better to other areas that need attention. It used to take a tech his entire 71⁄2-hour night shift to pick the next day's 40 cases. A tech can now pick 40 cases in 21⁄2 hours."
Using Barcode Data Collection Software for Blood Storage
Another way in which automated data collection software can help hospitals is by making it easier for staff to store and track blood supplies. According to Pulse IT Magazine, Australia's National Blood Authority uses barcode software to track and maintain blood shipments sent to and from hospitals and other medical care facilities. With this system, NBA authorities can see if a shortage of supplies or another bottleneck concern exists and then take the appropriate steps to remedy the situation.
"Because it's real time, we can monitor that the distribution system is actually working as it's supposed to and that blood is being delivered within the required timeframe," NBA general manager Leigh McJames told the news source.