HITting its stride: How Code's Barcode Scanning Supports Health IT (HIT)
Read time: 6 min., 20 sec.
Upon admission to the hospital, you're given a vinyl wristband bearing your name and a barcode. Those black and white blocks form the foundation for your treatment, thanks, in part, to Health Information Technology professionals and health data capture devices like barcode scanners.
Health Information Technology (HIT) professionals toil behind the scenes within hospitals, clinics, and public health departments to ensure patient data is secure. They're also tasked with ensuring that IT peripherals work seamlessly with electronic healthcare records. Given the importance of their roles, our HIT colleagues are among Code Corporation's most engaged partners. Unsurprisingly, HIT professionals are instrumental in the speccing and buying processes of our barcode readers and CortexDecoder Software Development Kit (SDK). HIT specialists also provide invaluable feedback to manufacturers like Code, shaping the devices that support healthcare efficiency and positive patient outcomes.
This blog explores typical Health IT roles, how HIT contributes to successful healthcare, and how Code helps HIT pros make it all happen.
Putting the IT in HospITals: A HIT Overview
HIT incorporates a vast array of technologies such as computer software, hardware, and infrastructure that collect and safely store information imperative to the healthcare industry. Examples of HIT include medical records, prescription records, financial information, clinical data, and administrative information.
Another big HIT task is streamlining caregivers' bedside workflows of documenting patient treatments and medical administration. Additionally, HIT facilitates the collection and transmission of patient data to a higher-level electronic medical record (EMR) or electronic health record (EHR) system. HIT specialists also oversee traditional IT tasks, like device troubleshooting or managing barcode scanners, making sure patient data is parsed, transmitted, and stored correctly.
Dream Team: Who is on a Healthcare HIT Team?
Many HIT careers involve assessing how healthcare facilities utilize information technology, like computer software and hardware, and providing innovative solutions to improve facilities' processes. HIT employees are devoted to the technical side of patient care.
Employees in HIT can come from diverse backgrounds. For example, a Bachelor's degree in Health Information Management or an MBA could land an individual in a HIT role. On the other hand, some positions require a high school diploma, experience in a medical facility environment, and customer service skill sets.
Taken to Task: Reviewing Typical HIT Roles
From patient representatives to support analysts, supervisors, and educators, career opportunities within Health IT are vast, rewarding, and opportunistic for various educational backgrounds. Explore this career map of typical HIT roles for a deeper understanding of different role expectations, career trajectories, and earnings.
Several examples of entry-level HIT jobs include a patient service representative, patient navigator, medical records clerk, or medical biller. These roles involve recording, storing, and sharing information, scheduling appointments, and communicating with patients and healthcare staff.
Mid-level roles include a medical coder, clinical data specialist, or privacy analyst; advanced positions include a coding educator, clinical data developer, or privacy officer. Tasks associated with these roles might encompass performing research and data collection and analysis or supervising and educating a team of data specialists or analysts.
A HIT career trajectory could land dedicated, talented leaders in an expert-level health information management (HIM) director position. HIM directors earn between $100,000-$200,000 annually as they tackle challenges like overseeing "big picture" planning, organizational, and execution efforts of HIT and management teams.
One thing all roles have in common is a united dedication to improving healthcare technology so that HIT teams, caregivers, and facilities can perform more efficiently and effectively.
Best Supporting Role: How do HIT Roles Benefit Healthcare Professionals
The tasks associated with the HIT roles mentioned above involve employing software systems and purpose-built barcode scanners. To provide streamlined healthcare solutions, HIT professionals must make decisions that solve issues like medication errors and address the limited time nurses have to act when patients are coding.
The healthcare industry benefits significantly from the processing, storing, and exchanging of healthcare information. HIT jobs empower medical heroes, like nurses and doctors, to provide quality patient care, mitigate medical errors, and expand access to affordable healthcare.
Additionally, partnering with HIT professionals allows healthcare staff and facilities to achieve increased administrative efficiency, improve the security of electronic health information, and reduce healthcare costs.
A Scan Can: How Code Barcode Scanners Support HIT
For the past 20 years, Code has helped improve hospital workflows through advanced data capture technology. Following are several ways our data capture experts have consulted with HIT professionals to streamline healthcare solutions, like point-of-care barcode scanning.
HIT Professionals Wield Influence when a Hospital is Shopping for HIT-related Devices
HIT professionals are uncommonly knowledgeable in industry needs and HIT-related devices like barcode scanners. Thanks to their collaboration with manufacturing companies like Code and healthcare teams, HIT pros can receive an understanding of healthcare needs and spec requirements directly from the team using the product.
Then, this information is communicated to the manufacturer. Code can then customize products or their programming to meet the healthcare client's specific needs. The healthcare industry is unique in the fact that they have this opportunity, while many other industries make decisions based on price. Even end-users like clinicians or nursing assistants often have a seat at the table when deciding which products to buy.
Point & Shoot: The Simplicity, Usability of Code's Barcode Readers
Nurses are too preoccupied with making quick, vital life-and-death decisions to add extra time for barcode scanner training. Therefore, Code works alongside HIT professionals to design simple-to-use barcode scanners. While barcode scanning technology is inherently complicated, nurses and other healthcare professionals can rely on clearly designed hardware to scan patients' ID wristbands, medical paperwork, and medications involved in treatment. With the click of a button, nurses can provide the best care to their patients.
HIT's Biggest Hit: Code CR2700
The innate purpose of Code's products is a vital consideration in product planning and engineering. What better way to serve the healthcare industry than by directly meeting its biggest needs? The importance of product purpose drives our decision to work directly with HIT pros at every level to design the perfect barcode scanner for healthcare.
After speaking with healthcare professionals, Code utilized HIT and nursing feedback to develop our flagship device, the CR2700 Barcode Reader. Healthcare pros requested a smaller size, higher IP ratings, the CodeShield Level III PVC-free plastics (which are disinfectant-ready), and the precise drop specs that suit their needs. Guided by their feedback, our fourth-generation Bluetooth 5 barcode scanner was born, and this CR2700 Barcode Reader is now the standard-bearer in healthcare.
Hot-Button Issue: Code Barcode Readers Distribute Data to Multiple Places via Programmable Buttons Many HIT professionals used to assume they needed to buy a different barcode scanner for each application (like scanning a patient's wristband or scanning medication information into their EHR). They also thought separate scanners were required for applications in the lab versus dispensing medication.
However, the programmable buttons on a barcode reader equip healthcare workers with an accessible array of capabilities in one piece of hardware. The buttons on a single Code device can be rapidly programmed to configure and distribute data into multiple applications.
Furthermore, Code's barcode readers do not need to be certified for one system versus another.
Money is Time: HIT Pros Save Both with Code's Software, Tech Support
The software capabilities within our barcode scanners are valuable tools that healthcare facilities and IT teams would otherwise have to spend significant time and money to create. For example, our CortexDecoder SDK, embedded in all of Code's hardware products, can decode over 40 barcode symbologies quicker and more efficiently than any on the market, saving hospital dollars and precious time in a nurse's busy schedule.
Consider that preventable medication errors affect over seven million patients annually, costing over $20 million in America. These numbers, however, will decrease over time thanks to EHR apps that utilize Code's Cortex Decoder SDK to scan and capture medication data.
Another way Code's barcode readers assist HIT professionals is through our reliable customer service team. The programmable buttons available on our barcode readers allow HIT crews to skip the detailed busywork of handling multiple devices and applications. With very few exceptions, HIT pros can rely on Code's team to take care of this work at no charge, as it all comes bundled into a single scanner.
Code: Single-Source Barcode Scanning for HIT
Code is a single source that meets the healthcare industry's barcode scanning needs. On the hardware side, Code's barcode readers are used throughout the hospital. Wireless and tethered models are used in nursing rooms, labs, pharmacies, ancillary clinics, cafeterias, warehouses, and even gift shops. On the software side, our CortexDecoder SDK is widely used throughout the healthcare industry because this SDK was the first "mobile HIS barcode soft-scanning" solution. Since it was first implemented into the EpicRover EHR, many other providers have also integrated CortexDecoder into their products. There is no longer any need for HIT managers to juggle multiple vendors.
From wrangling devices to safeguarding patient and provider data, it's clear health IT professionals and specialists have a lot of ground to cover—especially as more hospitals transition into paperless environments.
If you're involved in HIT and are focused on healthcare digitalization, contact Code. Our TAM and EMEA-based professionals can walk you through the best barcode scanning hardware and software options for your operations. Ask for a demo today!