What is barcoding?

Barcoding is a process by which healthcare organizations monitor admissions, medication and patient stays with barcodes.  

Barcodes are often used for: 

  • Lab specimens 
  • Supply chain and materials management  
  • Medication administration 
  • Personnel  
  • Pharmacy  

Upon admittance to an inpatient hospital, patients receive a wristband with a barcode so that healthcare providers can efficiently update their information throughout their stay. Providers also use barcodes for patients who are getting blood tests or lab tests to help ensure results are updated and added to the correct record for tracking.  

Barcoding for medications, patient records and samples helps providers easily find critical patient data.

Why is barcoding important to healthcare?

Barcoding is an important aspect of healthcare because it helps reduce medical errors, thus improving patient safety. It can also help protect the privacy of an organization and its patients.

Barcoding also lets providers quickly access medical records and other relevant patient information. When healthcare providers are well-informed about their patients, they receive better, more personalized care. This data also helps save both resources and time for the healthcare organization.