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5 Ways Healthcare Providers Can Use QR Codes

Three people conversing over a QR code

As you’re bringing more technology into your practice—to manage your office and communicate with your patients and suppliers—take a look at what QR code technology can do for you. QR codes offer a lot of value for healthcare professionals who are looking for a practical way to link patients to educational materials, manage inventory, market a health practice or just make it easier to find reliable health information. And all that’s needed is a smartphone.

QR codes are free or inexpensive to use and can be printed, posted and shared online, making them accessible in many different settings.

How can my practice use QR codes?

QR codes can be used to direct patient attention to specific websites, working in conjunction with sites that your practice creates or partners with. A QR code printed on a flyer can direct smartphone users to your clinic’s website, for instance, or to a patient intake application they can complete and bring to their first appointment. QR codes can also be created for an email campaign, another effective way to reach new patients.

How do I create QR codes?

Creating QR codes is easy. With a QR scanner app, you can generate new codes that can then be printed or shared electronically. QR apps are available in free or paid versions with different features for both Android and iPhone users.

Once you create a code, you can:

  • Print – Make QR code stickers to place on packaging or print codes on paper documents and marketing materials.
  • Share – Include your QR codes on your website and/or publish them on social media.

Consider the specific needs of your healthcare practice and think about the many practical ways you can put QR codes to use.

5 tips for using QR codes in healthcare

To put your QR codes to good use, think about both the information you want to deliver and the action you want your patients to take when they scan a code.

1. QR codes for education

If you’re giving your patients any brochures with information about chronic health conditions or preparing for surgery, for example, a QR code printed on it can give patients an easy link to online information of your choosing. This way, you can be explicit about the sources you value and trust for your patients.

2. QR codes to market your practice

QR codes are a great addition to your own business cards, referral packets or even a sign or banner. Use them in local media print advertising or on signage when you participate in a local health fair. You can link these codes to your practice’s website and social media pages.

3. QR codes on packaging for inventory and tracking

If you sell products like vitamins or creams to your patients, you can use QR codes for inventory tracking. QR codes can store more information than barcodes and are great for categorization.

You can store data and descriptions of your items in inventory, providing nearly instant access to that information with your smartphone whenever you need it.

4. QR code medical bracelets

Offer your patients medical bracelets with QR codes that provide access to information that can be quickly scanned for reference later. This could be helpful for caregivers and home-bound patients. A bracelet could also feature a QR code that links to information about your office procedures, billing information or bios of your practitioners.

5. Provide directions and instructions

In a hospital or other healthcare setting where you need to provide your patients with instructions, QR codes on the various print items or wearables can be invaluable resources. Here are just a few ideas:

  • Patient portal or patient medical history access
  • Reminders and daily goals
  • Hospital menu/meal ordering system
  • Feedback and patient experience surveys
  • Follow-up appointments
  • Visitor information (parking, visitation procedures, gift shop, etc.)

QR codes have practical value for healthcare professionals and are an affordable way to transform your practice—and your patient experience—with technology.

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