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We Can, but Should We?

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We Can But Should We?
Dara Shalom
Chamberlain College of Nursing
NR361-65561: Information Systems in Healthcare
March 2013

We Can But Should We? “As healthcare embraces technology to improve patient outcomes, streamline operations, and lower costs, the technologies with the most impact are the ones that make things simpler” (Why and How). Various companies are trying to simplify the process of obtaining essential patient information with the use of quick response, or QR codes. These codes are placed on stickers, bracelets, and cards for wallets. When paramedics scan the QR code, they gain access to the patient’s health profile, which contains basic personal information, allergies, medications, and emergency contacts. With instant access to this vital information, medical errors are reduced, and the time that they would otherwise spend obtaining this information is cut. Some people believe that this is a wonderful advancement, and it “could benefit so many folks” (Davis), while others are concerned and skeptical about this new technology. Benefits One advantage of utilizing QR codes in emergency response situations is the shortened time spent obtaining vital patient health information. By cutting down time, paramedics are able to make treatment decisions more quickly. “Every second counts during medical emergencies, and quick access to medical information can be the difference between life and death” (Rich). Immediate access to the individuals medical data will allow for more accurate and effective health interventions. Another convenience to quick response codes is the reduced risk of medical errors. Medical mistakes are one of the leading causes of death in the United States. According to a report by the Institute of Medicine, a “reasonable estimate” is that medical mistakes now kill around 200,000 Americans every year( Gupta). With QR…...

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