QR codes could provide patients way to keep them out of emergency rooms

Published on June 7, 2020
A study showed the codes printed on children’s casts helped parents, OrthoManhattan’s Dr. Alton Barron lends his expertise to ABC News.

 

When your child fractures a bone and gets a cast, the experience can be very overwhelming for both the child and parent. It might be hard to focus and remember the instructions given at the doctor’s office. But what if you could scan your cast with your phone at home to get up to speed with everything that was said?

A new peer reviewed study done by orthopedic surgeons at Children’s Hospital of Orange County, California found that a familiar technology, QR codes, short for quick response, may be a useful tool in helping children who have received casts and their families better manage their health.

“The genesis for this study was that most patients don’t recall what you tell them in the clinic or office,” lead researcher Dr. John Schlechter, a pediatric orthopaedic surgeon at Children’s Hospital Orange County, said in a press release.

Previous studies, in fact, have shown that only 50% of the information told during an office visit is remembered by patients.

“If we put the QR code on the cast, they have on-demand access to instructions,” Schlechter said.

Orthopedic surgeon Dr. Alton Barron, who was not involved in the study, agreed: “I would say there’s a lot of applications for it. I think it’s a very useful tool. I just think we don’t want to further technologically impair the doctor and patient relationship because when someone is seeking information, they’re often seeking contact with their doctor or health care provider.”

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