Since at least 2004, most vaccine vials and syringes have had barcodes on them.
At first they were linear barcodes (like a UPC code), but since 2016, vaccine products began using 2D barcoding.
Vaccine 2D Barcoding
Although you may have never heard about it, vaccine barcoding has a lot of benefits, including:
- improved patient safety by reducing vaccine errors, including flagging when the wrong vaccine or an expired vaccine is scanned
- improved documentation
- improved efficiency, as using a vaccine barcode scanner is faster than manually entering vaccine lot numbers
And vaccine barcoding makes it easier for clinics to manage their vaccine inventory.
Vaccine Barcode Scanners
Which vaccine barcode scanner should you get?
“Scanners, once configured for the specific EHR/PMS/IIS set-up, can decode the 2D barcode into a “string of numbers”. Once this string of numbers is available, the configuration from the scanner to the health record translates the information into the appropriate data needed to document GTIN, lot number, and expiration date.”
AAP on Getting the Scanner to Work
That’s probably going to depend on which EHR that you use, as you want to make sure that your scanner works with your EHR.
Once you know which model to get, you can also decide if you want one that is corded or that connects via WiFi or Bluetooth. While it might seem most convenient to go with a cordless device, that doesn’t necessarily mean that you can easily use the scanner on multiple computers. Each cordless device typically needs to be paired with a specific computer.
Are you using a vaccine barcode scanner yet?
More on Vaccine 2D Barcoding and Barcode Scanners
- 2D or Not 2D: The Lost and Overlooked Process of Vaccine 2D Barcoding
- AAP – Two Dimensional (2D) Barcode Scanning Technology in the Clinical Practice Setting
- CDC – Two-Dimensional (2D) Vaccine Barcodes
- CDC – Two-Dimensional (2D) Vaccine Barcoding – For Providers
- Summary Report Reporting for the Adoption Strategies for 2D Barcode Project
- 2D Barcode Scanning from Sanofi Pasteur
- GSK announces Rollout of U.S.-Licensed Vaccines with 2D Barcodes
- Implementation Pilot for Adoption Strategies for 2D Barcodes
- Study – Evaluation of Scanning 2D Barcoded Vaccines to Improve Data Accuracy of Vaccines Administered
- Study – The integration of barcode scanning technology into Canadian public health immunization settings
- Use a Barcode Scanner to Manage Immunization Lot Inventory (PCC)
- Vaccine Barcoding (OP)
- EHR Barcode Reader Medication and Immunization Management for Allscripts TouchWorks EHR
- Gryphon I GD4400 2D, Hand Held Scanners
- Zebra Symbol CS4070 Companion Scanner
- Zebra Symbol DS4308 Handheld Scanner