You would think that barcode scanners in hospitals would have an easy life, right?
Nice clean conditions, very well educated users, no getting run over by forklift trucks or being dropped on concrete floors – living in air conditioned luxury.
As it turns out, it isn’t so easy in hospital scannerville. That very cleanliness is the enemy of most barcode scanners because the disinfectants used in hospital environments quite happily attack the plastics that many barcode scanners are made of.
The first generation of barcode scanners for hospitals replaced the conventional plastic housings with antimicrobial, impregnated materials. These help by reducing the growth of mold and bacteria on the surfaces of the product, but didn’t do a very good job of resisting the aggressive cleaning solutions.
The current crop of barcode scanners for hospitals takes things a step forward by being manufactured from Disinfectant-Ready materials. These plastic materials are a tightly packed crystalline compound, specially engineered to resist the disinfectants used in cleaning modern hospitals.
Most of the scanner manufacturers now have an offering that is specially built to address this need.
We can provide healthcare specific scanners from Motorola, Honeywell, Cipherlab and Datalogic – for both linear and 2D barcodes as well as corded (attached to a computer) or cordless (usually using Bluetooth to communicate).
One thing we’ve noticed is that many hospitals are still not using barcodes to any great extent. With the need to improve patient safety and get info into Electronic Health Records (EHR) this is a good time to start – or maybe help reduce bacteria by switching your existing scanner to Disinfectant-Ready. Whatever you need, we can help you select the right product for your application.
For all your healthcare labeling or barcode needs, give me a call at 603-598-1553 x237.
Oh – checkout the new SF61B Healthcare Scanner from our friends at Intermec. Good specs and an interesting small form factor – perfect for riding in your pocket or clipped to your belt.
You can read more about this nifty little scanner (which also comes in a rugged version for those tough industrial guys) here.