Joint Commission, CDC use QR-codes to educate patients

Industry members and regulators are taking patient education mobile with a QR-code-based campaign.

Created by health supplies company Kimberly Clark, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, the Safe Care Campaign, the Joint Commission and other partners, the campaign embeds QR codes into patient safety posters distributed around hospitals, according to a story in Mobile Marketer.

The QR codes then link to videos about nine patient safety topics--including clinician hand washing, bloodstream infections, surgical infections, and medical errors. The program also offers a companion iBook for iPads on patient and hospital safety topics.

"Smartphones are a fact of life in 2012 and hospitals know that and they are OK with it," Victoria Nahum, executive director of the Mableton, Ga.-based Safe Care Campaign, tells Mobile Marketer. "We want to make it as easy and accessible to the patients as we can who want this information."

The campaigns creators have powerful ambitions for the project, predicting it could reduce hospital-acquired infections by 40 percent by 2013, and prevent about 1.8 million injuries and 60,000 deaths, according to a recent mHIMSS article.

The main drivers will be convenience and ease of use, Nahum says, according to mHIMSS. "When they're in the hospital, patients and their families don't have the time to research safety. They want information fast. They don't have want to read brochures."

FierceMobileHealthcare told you last fall about emerging uses for QR codes in healthcare, and patient education was one of those with potential. This new campaign, though, is the first one we've actually seen taking shape. We'll be interested to see where else QR codes pop up in hospitals this year.

To learn more:
- read the mHIMSS article
- check out the Mobile Marketer story