Healthcare is evolving rapidly to cater to patients’ needs and provide them with the best experience. Technology is playing a vital role in this shift, and the global healthcare technology market has spiked to $417 billion in 2023.
One of the most widely-used technologies in healthcare is QR codes. Data from HIMSS shows that 72% of healthcare organizations are using or planning to use QR codes.
From enabling digital appointment scheduling to making patient records more accessible, QR codes in healthcare have myriad applications.
Here’s a complete guide to QR codes for healthcare, including their applications, benefits, and best practices.
Table of Contents
- The changing healthcare sector and the role of technology
- How to use QR codes in healthcare?
- How to create a QR code for healthcare?
- Benefits of using QR codes in hospitals and healthcare facilities
- Best practices for using QR codes in healthcare
- Summing it up
The changing healthcare sector and the role of technology
Despite substantial strides in the development of healthcare infrastructure and facilities, the healthcare industry faces many challenges. Workforce shortages, manual work, high costs, and limited access are some of them.
Technology is playing a vital role in overcoming these challenges and helping healthcare providers offer a better patient experience.
QR codes are a highly versatile technology, making them the most widely used technology in healthcare.
The biggest advantage of QR codes is the digitization of physical spaces, resulting in better access. For instance, hospitals can enable patients to book appointments online, access important information, and much more with the help of QR codes.
In all, hospital operations rely significantly on redundant, mundane tasks, including a lot of paperwork. QR codes reduce the need for paperwork and add digital elements to hospital operations, making them the essence of efficient hospital operations.
How to use QR codes in healthcare?
In the previous section, we touched upon the importance of QR codes in healthcare. In this section, you’ll learn specific applications and use cases of QR codes in hospitals and other healthcare facilities.
Share patient information
QR codes can be an effective medium to share patient information between healthcare providers and also between providers and patients.
First, you need to create a secure database to store and manage patient information. It’s vital to have strict access controls for this database, along with encryption, backup, and recovery plans in place.
Ideally, you can have three types of access:
- Read only — To view the information
- Partial access — To edit the existing entries
- Full control — To add and delete entries
Once you set up the database, the next step is to create a QR code for patient information. There will be a unique QR code for each patient.
Head to a QR code generator like QRCodeChimp and create the needed QR codes. Now print the QR codes and share them as per your requirements.
Allow patients to schedule appointments
Hospitals, clinics, and other healthcare facilities can leverage QR codes to streamline the appointment and reservation process. The idea here is to use QR codes to redirect patients to an online booking system where they can make an appointment.
First, you need an online booking system to accept bookings and appointments. After that, create a QR code for the appointment-booking page’s URL and print it.
This will allow people to reach the appointment page with a single scan and make an appointment in a hassle-free way.
When patients reach the hospital or clinic, you can allow them to check-in and see the doctor using a qr code patient check-in system. It can help reduce waiting times and speed things up.
Enable access to Electronic Medical Records (EMRs)
An electronic medical record (EMR) or electronic health record (EHR) is a digital version of a patient’s complete medical information, including:
- Administrative and billing data
- Medical history
- Vital signs
- Patient demographics
- Immunization dates
- Lab and test results
- Radiology images
- Progress notes
- Administrative and billing data
The EMR record of each patient is stored in an EMR system.
With QR codes, you can make the EMR data of each patient more accessible. Similar to sharing patient information, you can create a QR code for medical records to share EMR data.
Improve access to clinical trials
QR codes can make the process of conducting clinical trials more efficient. Typically, a clinical trial involves various stages, such as patient recruitment, study management, data collection, sample tracking, and visit monitoring.
You can implement QR codes in all these stages.
For instance, you can streamline patient recruitment by creating a QR code for a landing page where participants can learn about the study and sign up to participate.
Similarly, researchers can use QR codes to access study information and patient data, schedule visits, track biological samples, and much more.
Manage medication and dosages
Management of medications and dosages is another helpful application of QR codes in healthcare. Clinics, hospitals, and pharmacists can use QR codes to track the administration of medicines, such as their dosage, timing, amount, etc.
QR codes are also an effective tool for prescription management. Pharmacists can use QR codes to track prescriptions and prevent medication errors, ensuring that patients receive the right medicines.
Provide quick access to useful information
QR codes are an excellent tool for sharing useful information with users. You can create a PDF document sharing in-depth information about a disease or guideline.
After that, create a QR code for the PDF document and share it with your users to educate and empower them.
Note: QRCodeChimp provides a PDF QR Code solution that allows you to turn a PDF document into a QR code.
Conduct patient surveys and collect feedback
Hospitals and other healthcare organizations can use QR codes to collect crucial patient feedback and improve their services.
Many hospitals nowadays use online forms to collect patient feedback and consumer data. You can increase the participation rate and form submissions with a QR code.
For instance, you can create a QR code for the feedback form’s URL. Print the QR code and share it with your patients, allowing them to reach the access by simply scanning the QR code.
Manage the supply chain
Did you know that QR codes were invented to track and manage supply chains? Decades later, QR codes continue to be effective for supply chain management.
You can use QR codes for various aspects of the supply chain, such as inventory tracking, equipment tracking, order tracking, vendor management, and more.
For example, pharmaceutical packaging can have QR codes, and vendors can scan the QR code at each touchpoint to automatically update its status in the tracking system.
Enable access to telemedicine
Telemedicine (or telehealth) is a prominent trend in healthcare. The global telehealth industry is projected to reach $194 billion in 2023, and the use of virtual care has increased by 38 times since the pandemic.
Making telehealth more accessible is crucial for authorities, and QR codes can help with that.
QR codes can help you bring people to the booking and appointment page, enabling them to easily access telemedicine services. Similarly, you can use QR codes to collect feedback and reviews for your telemedicine service.
How to create a QR code for healthcare?
Before creating a QR code, it’s important to determine your use case and the type of QR code you want to make. For instance, if you want to send patients to the appointment booking page, a URL QR code will be ideal. If you need to share PDF documents with someone, a PDF QR code will be the right choice.
Once you know which QR code you want to create, head to QRCodeChimp.com and create a QR code. Here are the detailed steps:
1. Visit qrcodechimp.com and log into your account. If you’re a new user, sign up for free.
2. Go to the Solutions page and select a solution based on your requirement. Suppose you want a URL QR code to send patients to the appointment page. In that case, go for the URL QR code. The generator page will open.
3. In the “Basic Information” section, enter the URL for which you want to create the QR code. Tick the “Make dynamic” checkbox to create a dynamic QR code. You can edit a dynamic QR code’s URL without reprinting and view its analytics.
5. Go to the “Design, Color, and Decorate QR Code” tab and customize your QR code using the given options
6. Click on “Save QR code,” give it a name, select a folder (optional), and save it.
The QR code will be saved in your dashboard. You can now download and print the QR code.
Benefits of using QR codes in hospitals and healthcare facilities
QR codes add digital capabilities to physical spaces, and healthcare facilities can leverage them to offer better patient experiences. Here are some advantages of using QR codes in healthcare:
Improved operational efficiency
QR codes help you digitize and speed up various processes, such as appointment booking, accessing patient records, enabling patient check-ins, and more. QR codes can help you complete tasks quickly that generally take a lot of time.
Higher patient engagement
Healthcare facilities can also leverage QR codes to improve patient engagement. With QR codes, you can make services and information more accessible for patients, resulting in higher engagement and satisfaction.
The healthcare sector still relies heavily on paperwork. With QR codes, you can reduce paperwork and make your processes digital. This will help you streamline operations and increase staff efficiency.
Enhanced tracking and management
QR codes help track inventory, equipment, prescriptions, and more. You can put a QR code on medicines and supplies to make tracking easier and improve the accessibility to information.
Better access to information
QR codes make information more accessible. With QR codes, you can make vital medical information more accessible to patients. For example, you can share guidelines, symptoms, and other details with the help of QR codes.
Best practices for using QR codes in healthcare
Here are some best practices to follow for using QR codes in healthcare.
Ensure security and data integrity
Healthcare is one of the most regulated industries, especially when it comes to data security. When you create a QR code for a piece of information, ensure that it’s secure and doesn’t pose any sort of security risk to the user or your organization.
Use CTAs to avoid confusion
If you plan to use multiple QR codes for different purposes, include a call-to-action (CTA) with each QR code to inform users what they need to do. This will avoid confusion and ensure a better user experience.
Keep the size in mind
Choose the right printing size for your QR codes so that people can scan them in a single attempt. QR codes that are too small or large can be difficult to scan. Also, as per QR code printing guidelines, a QR code should be at least 1 x 1 inch. So, if you want to print a small QR code, don’t go below that size.
Use a simple, consistent design
Nowadays, you can customize your QR codes the way you want, especially with a tool like QRCodeChimp that offers extensive customization options. However, it’s best to stick with a simple and consistent design when using QR codes in healthcare. You can play around with the shapes and colors, but avoid making your QR codes look overwhelming.
Create dynamic QR codes
You should regularly update your QR codes to ensure people get up-to-date information. If you’re creating QR codes for information that could change in the future, go for dynamic QR codes because of their editing capabilities. With dynamic QR codes, you also get in-depth analytics that can help you make informed decisions.
Summing it up
All in all, technology is playing a vital role in revolutionizing healthcare, and QR codes are one such technology. Thanks to the versatility and affordability of QR codes, hospitals and healthcare facilities of all sizes can use them to improve their operations, make healthcare more accessible, and provide a better patient experience.
If you want to create QR codes for healthcare, QRCodeChimp can help. QRCodeChimp is a QR code generator and management platform for all your QR code requirements.
Sign up now to get started.