To improve services and streamline operations in the most cost effective way, healthcare providers are increasingly embracing technology. QR codes are part of the new technologies being sought after for adoption in healthcare as a means of improving the reliability of services…
QR technology is a smartphone enabled technology that uses smartphone applications to smart scan quick response (QR) codes of any range. However, concerns raised about the reliability of the use of QR codes by the public have questioned the credibility as to whether its main purpose is providing information about a patient during emergency cases or whether it is a government plan of gaining private information about its citizens (Samwald & Adlassnig, 2013).
Defined as a matrix barcode readable by use of a Smartphone with an enabled right barcode reading applications, the technology’s applicability in the health care contains health information about a patient that can be used during emergencies (Bassendowski, 2012). Despite the high potential that this technology holds in attending patients during emergency cases, ethical and privacy concerns have been raised that make the public and healthcare institutions shy from adopting it. In demystifying the use of QR codes in healthcare, this paper will look at its background, advantages and disadvantages and give answers as to whether the technology is safe for adoption by the public. Quick Response Codes (QR) is the trademark technology for either a matrix barcode or two-dimensional code that holds information about a particular item, product or a person. Initially designed for the automotive industry in Japan by the “Denso Wave Corporation” in 1994, the technology has found a myriad of other uses due to its success. Original designers of QR Codes intended it to aid in tracking Toyota vehicles and their parts during the manufacturing process. Increasingly though, other businesses and corporations especially the packaging companies have adopted the technology. Finding its way to the United States as a an advertiser’s strategy of providing potential customers with information and URLs containing information about the company and product specifications, the technology has cross boarders and healthcare now is embracing it more and more, and recommending it to patients (Samwald, & Adlassnig, 2013). Healthcare’s exploitation of the technology seeks to use it in different ways for example a woman scheduling a mammogram by reading a QR Code that provides access to a website. They can offer patients with directions to online libraries for health information and educational videos as well as providing access to components of electronic health records (EHRs). The simplicity and the ease of use of the technology have been cited by some scholars as the biggest reason for its recommendation to the healthcare. QR Codes do not require any specialized tags as (Samwald & Adlassnig, 2013) observes. It is a 2D technology, easily generated and printable on numerous surfaces without the use of any specialized equipment. People can develop these codes easily and embed their personal information that are of great help to the medical teams when treating them in an emergency case. the process of scanning and obtaining all the information, both personal and medical helps in saving a lot of time for the patient in case of an emergency. Learning the process of developing and using this technology by people takes a short while, whilst it has the potential of saving their lives in the long run (Bassendowski, 2012). Scanning and decoding of the information from the most obvious devices that are easily accessible such as Smartphones and iPhones saves time for the doctors and nurses (Baum, Top of Form2013). The barcode, containing crucial information about the patient when scanned saves time of running preliminary tests or ...
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