Nothing is more important to healthcare providers than improving patient outcomes. Discover why your scanning technology has a vital role to play.

These days, healthcare organizations are buffeted by a perfect storm of rising costs, nursing and other talent shortages, and the after effects of the global pandemic. The results are unprecedented staff burnout, especially among nurses — and increased risk to patient care and the patient experience.

nurse burnout statistic

Choosing a solution for BCMA (barcode medication administration) and other scanning needs used to be a matter of selecting from among a range of dedicated handheld devices. Now, however, there’s a new option: smart data capture software that leverages and enhances the power and convenience of today’s smart consumer devices.

But can software really replace dedicated devices in a healthcare environment, where speed and accuracy are of the utmost importance? And where can healthcare organizations expect improvements for both patients and nurses when they adopt smart data capture software on smart devices?

This guide identifies key focus areas for healthcare organizations to consider when deciding to deploy dedicated devices or smart data capture enabled smartphones including:

  • Compliance with BCMA standards
  • Scanning performance across clinical workflows
  • Positive outcomes for patients and caregivers
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Boost to BCMA compliance

Hospitals and other healthcare providers have stepped up their digital transformation efforts – uniting people, processes, and technology to create more streamlined, efficient, and humane healthcare. The growing use of BCMA is one example of portable information technology adoption intended to improve productivity and user experience for nurses while also improving patient care.

BCMA automates the process of verifying medications by scanning barcodes on the medication and on the patient’s identification wristband to assist nurses in confirming the ‘five rights’: right patient, right medication, right dose, right route, and right time.

However, a recent study suggests that BCMA is limited by technological constraints.

Laptop constraints, system lags and freezing, malfunctioning or unavailable barcode scanners, and unwieldy workstations on wheels slowed down processes and led to deviations from established protocols.

Source: BMJ Quality and Safety

Smart data capture on smart devices overcomes these issues, and ensures BCMA compliance. The smartphone, a small, ubiquitous, and familiar device replaces a more bulky laptop.

Further, augmented reality (AR) lets nurses confirm data and receive related information, such as dosage, right on the screen.

Sophisticated scanning software is more accurate than handhelds, particularly in unfavorable conditions.

Handle healthcare-specific scanning challenges

Clinical environments and healthcare workflows create numerous challenges for scanning data, including reflective blood bags, marked-up IV bags, curved patient wristbands, darkened patient rooms, and more.

Let’s examine these further:

  • Patient wristbands are a critical patient touchpoint and part of nearly every scanning sequence. However, their curved, shiny surfaces can be difficult to scan with dedicated devices, and low light exacerbates this limitation.
  • Blood bags have reflective surfaces that can confound traditional scanners, and the bags often have multiple barcodes.
  • IV bags have low-contrast scanning surfaces, typically featuring white barcodes against bags filled with clear liquid.
  • Medication packaging comes in many forms, which can pose any number of scanning challenges, including curved, highly reflective surfaces and small barcodes.

These are challenges for traditional scanners. However, high-performance smart data capture technology can accurately scan in all of the above mentioned conditions – whether it’s glare, low/high contrast surfaces, poor lighting, at varying distances, and different types of barcodes.

Watch how Scandit Smart Data Capture works:

  • Lab specimens are time-sensitive, and must be traceable back to their origin.
  • At the pharmacy, speed and accuracy in identifying and dispensing medications are of essence to staff.
  • Medical warehouses have hard-to-reach shelves with multiple products on each.

A scanning-enabled app can track blood and laboratory samples in real time and trace barcodes back to their origin, achieving an accurate chain of custody. Nurses and pharmacy staff can scan multiple barcodes from a distance with Scandit’s superfast MatrixScan.

While augmented reality overlays instantly reveal the correct item among multiple medications – helping identify the medications nurses need, providing instant feedback, fast and accurately.

See how it’s done with our smart data capture platform in the video below.

Modernize mobility at speed

You’d think that a dedicated device built exclusively for scanning would perform better than software on a smartphone already in just about everyone’s pockets. Not so.

Feature by feature, smart data capture outperforms dedicated scanning devices hands down. At 480 scans per minute, Scandit’s single scanning speed easily matches the reliability and accuracy of hardware scanners.

In fact, Scandit’s MatrixScan offers superfast, multiple barcode scanning in a single scan, and is up to 3X faster than dedicated devices, providing a 40% greater scan range.

Further, the greater accuracy under unfavorable conditions delivered by Scandit Smart Data Capture, coupled with AR overlays delivering real-time information, go beyond just scanning, to enable multiple capabilities from a single device.

Improve the nurse’s experience

Data capture isn’t just about software or hardware speed. It should improve your nurse’s productivity, giving them and other staff more time to devote to patient care without sacrificing accuracy.

Dedicated scanners are yet another device that nurses must maneuver throughout their day, sometimes carting them on WoWs (workstation on wheels) between or within patients’ rooms. With low light, damaged or curved labels, and other conditions commonly encountered in healthcare, nurses must make repeated efforts to get an accurate scan.

What’s more, they must rely on a laptop computer to confirm the scan and receive additional information. Smart data capture on smart devices puts the entire process on a single, familiar, multi-use device that slips into a pocket.

Smart data capture solutions have several advantages over dedicated hardware when it comes to ease of use. Nurses are already familiar with smart devices, so there is no hardware to train new staff on, and onboarding is made even faster and easier thanks to AR overlays that speed training.

Don’t take our word for it. Watch the video below to see what nurses themselves are saying.

Aid patient satisfaction

Improving a nurse’s experience with the technology they use daily is crucial to improving patient care. But technology can also have a direct impact on patient experience. How?

nurse patient healthcare

Picture this scenario: A nurse must scan a patient’s wristband and medication in the late hours. To get an accurate scan with their dedicated device, they often must move the patient’s wrist in a low-light environment, perhaps scanning multiple times before getting it right.

Doing this, disrupts the patient’s sleep, and has a negative effect on the overall care they receive. Now imagine this process with smart scanning technology: A single scan in dim light confirms the patient’s identity and medication with minimal disruption.

Tackle TCO

Smart devices with smart data capture applications are cost-effective in multiple ways. First, there’s the greater productivity they provide. In addition, they work on hardware the hospital already owns, rather than inflexible hardware and infrastructure.

In fact, Scandit Smart Data Capture on smart devices is typically one-third the total cost of ownership (TCO) of a traditional hardware dedicated scanner.

Scandit provides advanced capabilities that help healthcare organizations re-engineer workflows and take advantage of ongoing innovation. Our smart data capture platform offers flexibility to improve patient care and future-proof your organization’s digital transformation.

Connect us to transform your healthcare organization’s data capture platform. Or click here to learn more about our healthcare solutions.

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