The Advantages of Migrating to Cordless Scanners for Healthcare Applications

Posted November 9, 2015

2015-11-09_1043Best-in-class healthcare organizations are looking to cordless scanners for their next deployment, but not just for the obvious reasons. The latest generation of cordless healthcare scanners bring with them unique technologies that can truly transform common clinician workflows, making nurse’s more productive and focused, while enabling a higher degree of patient safety.

Advantage 1 (The Obvious One): Freedom of movement— nurses need to go to the barcode
Freedom of movement around patients, family members, and expensive equipment—particularly in congested patient wards or ICUs—is a continued challenge for today’s clinician. As more and more technology is packed into the modern-day patient room, free space comes at a premium. Tethering a scanner to a wall-mounted computer or to a workstation-on-wheels (WoW) cart just does not meet the needs of today’ on-the-move nurse. Not every monitor, IV bag, infusion pump, or oxygen line with a barcode is going to be located next to the workstation, so taking the scanner to the barcode is a necessity.

Advantage 2: Free up the nurse’s hands with presentation scanning
A capability currently found only in the cordless Xenon healthcare scanners, presentation mode scanning is dramatically faster than point-and shoot scanning. Eliminating the need to aim and pull the trigger on each scan, presentation mode scanning instead allows the clinician to “present” the items to the scanner. Xenon’s high performance sensors automatically detect objects in its field of view and rapidly scans regardless of angle, orientation, symbology or background material.

Advantage 3: Easier to clean
Cables and cords found in hospital rooms—especially those that come in contact with the floor, hands, bedding, or the patient—carry the most potential for germs. Not only is the cable subject to exposure to bacteria and viruses, it can also be the most difficult component to clean. According to the CDC, one in 25 hospital patients will be infected with a healthcare-associated infection during their hospital stay.1 Going cordless not only saves time on common tasks, but should also reduce the possibility of these infections occurring.

Advantage 4: Smart mounting brings the eyes to the screen
Mounting the scanner above the display gets the scanner up and out of the way of the work surface, but it also has the added benefit of drawing the clinician’s eyes back to the display during presentation scanning—which makes it easier for them to look for pop-up error messages from the EMR system.

Advantage 5: Greater patient safety
Nothing imparts fear in the mind of a patient more than the thought of snagging an IV line—ouch! And yet, these accidents are commonplace. In fact, in the United States alone, preventable medical errors impact as many as 400,000 patients each year.2 Eliminating the cable makes for one less trip hazard and the potential legal liability that stems from hospital patient accidents—a key driver of increased healthcare costs.

Advantage 6: Reduced system overrides with cordless scanners
When a nurse cannot easily reach a barcode with a tethered scanner, manually inputting data is often the workaround. These manual system overrides introducing the potential for human error. However, evidence points to these workarounds occurring much less frequently when cordless scanners are used. With a cordless scanner, no patient wristband, IV bag, or infusion pump barcode is out of reach.

Advantage 7: Easier to Find, Harder to Lose
Dispelling the misnomer that cordless scanners frequently “get up and walk away,” Honeywell’s Xenon cordless scanner feature a built-in paging function on their charge base. This button sends a wireless signal to the scanner, activating a loud beeper. This beeper also activates when the scanner is out-of-range of the base, effectively serving as an anti-theft device in the event a patient or family member attempts to “sneak” the scanner out of the hospital with their belongings.

Advantage 8: Reduced clinician downtime
For corded barcode scanners, the cord is the most common point of failure. Cord issues can be difficult to troubleshoot, often causing intermittent power, reduced scanning performance, and wasted time as clinicians replace the device or find workarounds. Cordless scanners don’t suffer from this failure point, and in particular, the Xenon healthcare scanner is built for 50,000 scans on a single charge—weeks in most hospital environments.

Advantage 9: Flashlight mode
In situations where nurses must remain productive in dark environments, the Xenon cordless scanner features a Scan Lamp mode, quickly and easily enabled by pressing a button on the scanner’s charge base. When toggled into this mode, the scanner illuminates a confined area (such as a work surface). In fact, Xenon’s illumination is so powerful, it can be used as a makeshift flashlight.

Advantage 10: It makes financial sense
Cordless scanners do cost more than their corded counterparts, due to the charging base, wireless system, and battery. Yet over the course of the scanner’s life, this translates to just pennies per day. While it is difficult to assign a dollar value to the advantages of cordless—be it freedom of movement and convenience, or workflow benefits like ease of cleaning, reduced system overrrides, and reduced downtime—the costs of going cordless are usually far outweighed by the benefits. It is an investment that will payback many fold your initial cost.

About Honeywell’s Xenon Healthcare Scanner
Honeywell’s Xenon healthcare scanner has long been the choice for best-in-class healthcare organizations looking to improve their medication administration and positive patient identification workflows. Now, the next-generation Enhanced Xenon 1902h adds a number of features specifically requested by clinicians to further enhance patient comfort and improve common clinician workflows. To enhance patient comfort while maintaining clinician productivity, the Enhanced Xenon 1902h can be quickly toggled into Patient Do-Not-Disturb mode. When in this mode, audible feedback is disabled and replaced by additional visual display options that provide positive status indication to the clinician. Additionally, a unique Scan Lamp mode can be activated with the touch of a button. When mounted above a workstation on wheels (WoW) display, the Scan Lamp casts white illumination to the work surface. This allows staff to read labels, verify medication, or enter data—all without having to turn on the room light and disturb resting patients. The Enhanced Xenon 1902h is enclosed in a disinfectant-ready housing which resists the harmful effects of harsh cleaning agents commonly used in healthcare environments and minimizes the spread of infectious diseases.

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