QR codes on vaccines help reduce errors in EHRs

QR codes on vaccines help reduce errors in EHRs

According to the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, QR codes on the labels of vaccine products are becoming one of the keys to effectively reducing errors in immunization data uploaded to electronic health records. These codes are similar to barcodes in that they can be scanned to reveal information, but while barcodes only reveal the vaccine product identification, QR codes are able to tell users additional information, like the immunization's expiration date and lot number.

EHR Intelligence reported that this extra data is immediately stored in electronic health records once the product is scanned, eliminating the risk of incomplete product information or human error. Prior to QR codes, which the CDC began to study and use in 2011, lot numbers and expiration dates were typically handwritten, which was responsible for a large margin of error.

The source explained that even when this information was clearly printed, mistakes were often made when healthcare professionals typed it into electronic health records. By eliminating the middle, human component of the process, fewer mistakes are being made and vaccination information has been more accurately recorded. A number of organizations, including the American Academy of Pediatrics, have backed the CDC's support of QR codes.