HPN Asks the Barcode Experts

In a recent issue of Healthcare Purchasing News (HPN), author Rick Barlow posed a variety of different questions to some of the industry’s top barcode experts, two of which were Barcoding, Inc.’s very own Alexis Arenas and Kelly Harris.

The first question was, “What are some of the real, practical differences between the various bar-code reading technologies?”

“The application and the environment dictate what bar-code reading technology a customer will elect to employ. Purchasing a scalable solution — like an imager –allows for future technological growth and greater scalability of the solution in addition to delivering the best return on investment,” said Merrie Wallace, R.N., MN, Executive Vice President & CNO, Product Solutions, Awarepoint Corp.

Alexis Arenas, Strategic Accounts Manager, Barcoding, Inc., brought up the fact that consumer-grade smartphones and tablets have become very popular in healthcare settings. “However, in the healthcare setting, it is essential that the scanning equipment used for key applications (such as positive patient ID/wristbands, bar-code medicine administration and mobile phlebotomy) be extremely robust…. Consumer-grade camera-based scanning applications simply do not offer the speed, reliability, motion tolerance or decoding power to adequately support critical scanning tasks for these point-of-care applications, threatening the quality of care benefits.”

HPN also asked, “If you were struggling to determine whether to invest in and deploy traditional 1-D, 2-D and 3-D bar coding, what economic/financial and operational factors would you have to consider (based on capabilities, functionality and where you want to deploy them)?”

To this, Kelly Harris, Director of Program Management, Barcoding Inc., Baltimore, replied, “Simplicity should be king. The type of bar code (1-D or 2-D) that you should use can be determined by asking two questions: What data are you looking to capture, and how much space will you have on the item to work with for a potential bar code?”

Glenn Aspenns, Senior Media Applications Analyst/Product Manager,
Intermec Technologies Corp., added, “While 2-D imagers can read either type of symbol, 1-D-only scanners cannot read matrix-type bar codes. For this reason, before implementing a 2-D symbology, it is essential to check each touch point in the system to ensure that all users have existing hardware capable of reading the symbology selected, or have a plan to replace the hardware.”

In addition, HPN asked, “How do you choose between laser scanners and area imagers (based on capabilities, functionality and where you want to deploy them)?” Before sharing others’ responses, I’d like to hear your thoughts! Let us know by commenting below, or on Facebook or twitter.

Read the full article here.