QR codes- A new genie for the healthcare domain

In this Digital Age, even the patients want a direct and on-hand healthcare services.

To fulfill this instant need of a patient, the healthcare organizations are adopting QR Scan facility, to make the patient get easier and faster interaction/engagement with the physician through their smartphones and tablets.

The QR Codes are Eco-friendly, Hygienic, convenient alternative to printed or shared materials.

The History of QR.

In 1994, Masahiro Hara, an engineer at Denso Wave (a subsidiary of the Japanese auto company Denso), invented the QR codes. Denso Wave is a leader in developing and manufacturing automatic data capture devices for barcodes, QR codes, and radio-frequency identification (RFID). The purpose was to expedite component scanning and minimize loss during vehicle manufacturing.

QR codes can embed 200 times more information than a standard barcode with its unique pattern. Initially this concept got a backlash in early 2000’s because of following 2 reasons:

  • In the initial times, the smartphone camera did not have the capability of scanning the code independently. Thus, they had to download a third-party app to scan and decode the information stored in the label’s black squares, lines, and white space.
  • The QR codes were released ahead of their time, so the people generally didn’t realize the basic use of that.

The Re-emergence of QR Code:

As the pandemic hit during the end of 2019, masses acknowledged the use of QR to make it hygienic and safe for them in order to have access to any information or make any payment. This sudden need of contactless services increased the popularity of the QR in all areas, including Healthcare.

Unlike past years, there is no longer need of a Third-Party App, as the latest smartphones are well equipped with the scanning and decoding facilities. 

Hence, QR code is being used to replace the paper or plastic printed media for marketing or information purposes.

In the field of healthcare, QR codes are proving to be an asset for storing confidential patient information. Healthcare providers can scan QR codes on patient wristbands or medication labels during their hospital stays or appointments. One quick scan and providers can have detailed information of the patient’s history without any hassle.

The QR code has helped the medical field to grow in several ways like:

  • Patient education
  • Patient verification
  • Prescription refills
  • Drug information  
  • Elderly care
  • Patient marketing
  • Patient payment
  • 3D instructional video for medical devices
  • And many more

This will also help in the error free diagnosis of any patient, as the practitioner has access to all the records of the patient.

What does the Stats say regarding QR Code?

Alongwith the ongoing world pandemic, a large population tends to recover the QR use. According to a study on the QR code adoption, about 09 million people used the QR in the year 2018 which has increased to 11 million in the year 2020, while there was a 443% increase of QR scans all around the world and is continuing to rise at a rapid pace. This proves the fact that the customers are more attracted towards the QR especially during the peak COVID times and even after the slowing down of the pandemic effect, the use of this new-tech solution is only increasing.

While the internet being the best source for the patient to get access to any information, with 7% of all daily online searches being health-related (more than 420 million). The Healthcare professionals can communicate with a larger audience by providing instant access to valuable information, enhancing their in-office or aftercare experience, with the help of QR.

In order to understand the usage of QR by different age groups, the codes needs to be placed in the differentiable places for example, paid search ads, posters, flyers, email, social media, etc. for your hospital, health system, or medical practice. 

8 Techniques to use QR codes and getting amazing results.

Having your websites, landing pages, blogs, videos, podcasts, and other online health information linked with the QR code, will prosper the brand image, simultaneously will improve the patient experience by providing streamlined access to appointments, Patient history and Communication with the other Medical Care Providers.

The main objective of the marketing strategy should be putting the patient’s needs and expectations in front, so that you get a positive impact on your service growth and reputation.

1. Using QR Code to Bridge the gap between Traditional and Digital Marketing.

The QR Code can be used in several ways:

  • Traditional
  • Examination and waiting room posters
  • Newsletters and flyers
  • Educational materials (e.g., health tips, advice, aftercare instructions)
  • Print advertisements (e.g., business cards, magazines, newspapers)
  • Outdoorboards and other community display areas
  • Medical publications and journals
  • Digital
  • Physician’s bios
  • Health insurance profiles
  • Emails 
  • Online advertisements
  • LinkedIn and Facebook pages
  • Webinars and podcasts
  • Location maps (to help patients find your office)
  • Contact us page (to send contact information directly to smartphones)

2. Managing Patient Identification Records

For managing this crucial data, QR codes are used to help providers avoid situations like patient risks, improperdiagnosis, testing errors or medication errors. 

The Medical Practitioners can scan the code allocated to individual patient and further get an immediate access to the Patient Information like:

  • Name, DOB, gender, phone, address, SSN, photo, etc.
  • Health history
  • Medical records
  • Vaccination records
  • Emergency contacts
  • Current medications and dosage
  • Admission and discharge information
  • Aftercare instructions
  • Lab results

3. Patient Health & Medical Information

Make the patient aware of medical facts like common medical diagnoses, medical treatments, or medical procedures with the help of QR placed in the waiting room or the reception desk.

To provide immediate access to information such as prenatal care guidelines to a conceived woman the QR can be placed in the pregnancy chart.

4. Hospital Administration

To quantify the operations of the Hospital Administration Process while reducing the medical errors and increasing the productivity QR Codes can play a major role in better treatment of the patient

According to the recent study by the Annals of Family Medicine, it was discovered that even the modern age doctors spend more than half of their time on Emergency Medical Records (EMR) regulations, due to which they cannot offer service to more patients due to lack of time.

The administrative burden can be reduced as all the hospital staff have access to all the information of patient through QR and further allowing the hospitals and healthcare providers to improve efficiencies and lower their costs as well. 

As the training of hospital staff will not be so hefty, using the QR will simplify the workflow and managing the patients would be comparatively easy.

5. Beneficial to the Practitioners

Very much like emergency clinics, clinical facilities and private practice specialists can likewise profit from utilizing QR codes.

  • Patient data
    • Put QR codes on physician recommended prescriptions, clinical records, lab results, and anyplace patients might require extra data.
  • Patient training
    • Put QR codes on banners or flyers to assist patients with getting to instructive data on different sicknesses and therapies 
  • Supplier data
    • Put QR codes on business cards, arrangement updates, messages, or paid promotions to share supplier data (e.g., arrangement accessibility, claims to fame, and so on.). These codes can likewise lead patients straightforwardly to an internet-based arrangement planning website page, saving your front office staff significant time and assets.

6. Remote Patient Monitoring

To handle the patients remotely the doctors can use the QR Code. With the help of the QR Code, the patient can automatically notify their doctor whenever they consume any medicine with a simple scan.

With the amalgamation of the Remote Patient Monitoring (RPM) and QR codes can help the treatment seekers getting a continuous healthcare, even during the world crisis like COVID. 

7. Drug Safety

To make sure that the patient receives a proper guidance for his or her medication and support the drug safety, QR code might be useful as it allows to scan the prescriptions into the patient’s medical record immediately. This will facilitate an error free, and a faster treatment, which is directly associated with better patient outcomes and care delivery.

The Pharmacies can also be benefitted by the QR, to display important information of medicines (e.g. expiry dates, composition, drug interactions, dosage, allergy information, and more).


8. Medical Equipment Information

Using various medical equipment by various sets of people requires SOPs to make the process run smoothly, adopting the QR code in using these sophisticated instruments will help the medical staff to operate hassle free.

Concluding, QR codes are proved to be an inseparable section of the modern healthcare system, as it helps in an efficient healthcare to the patient, Patient record management, Drug Management and many more.

Being a healthcare provider, having QR code is now more than a necessity. One can consider using temporary, dynamic QR to facilitate patient communication, patient experience and save time and money of the healthcare administration.

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