Scientists studying the coronavirus quickly found out that the virus can potentially infect a person through everyday objects. The research showed that the virus remains active for up to 24 hours on cardboard and up to three days on plastic and stainless steel. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) says that it may be possible for a person to get COVID-19 by touching a surface or object that has the virus on it and then touching their own mouth, nose, or possibly their eyes.
With QR codes, you can, at least, slow down the spread of COVID-19 by making everyday objects accessible without ever touching them. Depending on the size of the QR code, you only need a minimum of 25 cm (10 in) to scan a QR code. In comparison, NFC (near-field communication) devices can only interact when they’re brought within 4 cm (1 ½ in) of each other.
QR codes are not only cost-effective, but they are also quick and easy to implement. Plus, in the wake of COVID-19, there’s an added benefit that keeps everyone clean through contactless interactions. Below are several examples of how you can use QR codes in your healthcare facility.
Eliminate pen and paper registrations.
It’s easy to set up, and there is absolutely zero cost to implement a QR code as the entry point of your patient registration process. You only need to print or display a QR code at the entrance or directly at the waiting room for a no-contact registration process.
Provide contactless information.
Hospitals and clinics share information via brochures, flyers, and posters. You’ve seen them everywhere on the counter, tables in the waiting room, and even in doctors’ offices. Not only are they a waste of resources, but they are also rarely replaced or cleaned. With a QR code linking to a digital version of your materials you can reduce paper waste and share information without physically touching materials.
Create downloadable marketing materials.
QR codes on brochures promote contactless interactions. Brochures and flyers are usually text-heavy, and the information in it can get outdated from the time they’re printed to when they get to your patients. Add QR codes on your marketing materials that lead to their digital copies so that your patients can take the information home without ever touching them.
If you need to update the information on a regular basis, you can use a dynamic QR code to update your link whenever you want without ever needing to reprint a new QR Code. This way, you save even more on printing-related costs.
Provide different ways to access information.
Bring your posters or infographics to life with videos. Everyone absorbs information differently. That’s why it’s important to prepare multiple ways to share information. A traditional poster or infographic can be enriched with videos or sound files with the addition of QR codes that link to the media..
Streamline inventory management.
Know what’s stored in your inventory without physically checking them. Proper inventory management at a healthcare facility can be tricky. By adding QR codes into your inventory, you can implement a more organized system that could potentially help cut costs as well. Use a plain text static QR code to assign labels to your storage drawers or cabinets so you can check what’s in them with a quick scan. You can also assign a different color to each QR Code to indicate their type, expiration date, and more.
Go even beyond the standard service you provide and offer a better experience for your patients. Aside from keeping everything cleaned and sanitized, there are also other ways for you to make your healthcare facility more accessible with QR codes.
Offer multi-channel communication.
There are more cost efficient ways for you to communicate with your patients then over a phone call. Simply add an Email QR code or SMS QR code that your patients can scan and send you emails or text messages in seconds. Or, use a QR code linking to your Twitter profile to redirect the more tech-savvy patients to send you a tweet or direct message (DM).
Enhance the overall experience.
The waiting area is often filled with worried friends and family members. To help keep them occupied during this tough period, why not offer free WiFi? Adding WiFi to your healthcare facility has the same benefits as adding magazines or a fish tank that helps patients relax and decrease perceived wait time. You can create a QR code that provides a direct link to your wait room WiFi network.