If you’ve been shopping recently, then you’re no stranger to QR codes. These square, two-dimensional, black-and-white codes operate similarly to bar codes, but they have significantly more uses. They can contain links to videos or websites, they can be used as part of a rewards program, and they can be used to help simplify a company’s stock, to quickly re-order new supplies, and to make sure that perishable supplies are gotten rid of before their expiration date. They can be scanned with dedicated tools, or with a smartphone or tablet that has the right app, making them extremely versatile in who uses them, and what use they’re put to.
Using QR codes to track stock is something any business would be able to make use of, but it becomes particularly necessary when the stock being tracked can literally be life or death for the people who need it. Which is why ambulances, as well as hospitals, are making use of QR codes to be sure the supplies they have on hand are going to do more good, than harm.
How Often Does The Ambulance Get Re-Stocked?
Ambulances are the front lines of medical services. When there is an emergency, first responders jump in their ambulances, and roar out toward where it’s happening to provide on-scene care for the wounded, and afflicted. Often it is the tools and materials in an ambulance that can mean the difference between someone living long enough to get to the hospital, and dying before they can make the journey.
QR codes are a useful tool in that high-stakes job. As Medical Economics points out, these codes can be used to create an instant database of all the materials on an ambulance, which can be viewed and tracked from any device with a connection to the network. This allows people to review what has and hasn’t been stocked, and if the codes are scanned after materials have been used, it allows ambulance teams to mark down supplies that need to be re-stocked. Everything from bandages and gauze, to adrenaline and saline solution can be tagged and scanned with a moment’s work, and orders can be put in automatically when supplies reach a certain threshold.
As long as the expiration date on perishable items is part of the QR code, the database can also automatically keep track of when the items are no longer good, and should be properly disposed of. It can even send out notifications to make sure the items are replaced quickly, and efficiently, so that the injured and sick don’t also get expired medications which could make their situations worse instead of better.
Another Task Delegated To Technology
As our everyday technology becomes more advanced, we have the ability to entrust more tasks to the tools we create. Keeping medical supplies properly stocked, checking drugs for expiration dates, and placing orders were all extremely time-consuming tasks when done by hand. And the bigger a hospital, or ambulance fleet, was, the more attention and time it would take. Not only that, but human error could often lead to major problems. By using QR codes to automatically track supplies and dates, we take the human element out of the task. This allows medical personnel to spend more time and energy on providing care, and doing other jobs that the machines can’t do yet.
Automation is everywhere, even if you don’t see it. And this particular use of QR codes is one of the more subtle ways we are using computers to make sure we have the tools we need, when we need them. For more information on how QR codes are changing the medical industry, simply contact us today!