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Codes add value to patient education
Smartphone users are beginning to use a device called a "barcode scanner" that allows them to open Quick Response (QR) codes. These codes are found on a multitude of items including magazine ads, signs, business cards, and museum graphics, says Fran London, MS, RN, a health education specialist at The Emily Center, a family health library at Phoenix (AZ) Children's Hospital.
Anyone with a barcode scanner on their phone can read the code by putting it in the telephone camera's view, she explains. The scanner takes the smartphone user to the link associated with the QR code, which can be anything from a web site URL to a Google map location. (For more details on QR codes, see the source at the end of this article.)
What does this have to do with patient education? According to London, there are web sites that can be used to create a QR code for free. Just search for "QR Code generator," she instructs. Once a QR code is established, it can be included on a teaching handout, for example. When the code is scanned, it might connect to a video that demonstrates the self-care skill for an area such as a dressing change, London explains.
While the QR code is not a way to communicate essential information to patients and their families, it is a free tool that facilitates interaction, she emphasizes.
For more information, contact:
Fran London, MS, RN, Health Education Specialist, The Emily Center, Phoenix Children's Hospital, 1919 E. Thomas Road, Phoenix, AZ 85016-7710. Telephone: (602) 546-1408. E-mail: firstname.lastname@example.org. Web: http://notimetoteach.com/ To read detailed article: http://notimetoteach.com/2011/qr-codes.