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The Power of the QR Code

09 Sep 2011

The Power of the QR Code

Did you know 14 million mobile users (6.2% of the total mobile audience) scanned a QR code in the United States in the month of June this year? QR codes are here to stay, at least for right now.

A QR (Quick Response) code is a type of matrix barcode designed to be read by smartphones (iPhone, Android, BlackBerry). The code consists of black modules arranged in a square pattern on a white background. The information encoded may be a text, URL or other data. They are the barcodes we see in newspapers, on billboards and even t-shirts.

If you need a good QR code reader for your phone, here’s a link to some of the top readers on the market. Another good one for iPhone and Android is Red Laser.

Now, how can you utilize these codes for business, especially in the healthcare industry? Here are some ideas:


Hospitals and medical facilities can introduce staff and doctors to viewers by including a QR code in print ads that links to a YouTube video or to a video bio on the hospital website. This makes it convenient for patients to learn more about their doctors right from their phone.

Harris County Hospital District in Houston, Texas, is using QR codes on its publicly posted board agendas. Meeting attendees scan them to follow the multi-page agendas on their smartphones and link to supporting documents.

Many medical centers put a QR code at their front desk and in print ads that links to a site where people can instantly and easily book an appointment. This solution shows how a QR code is convenient for patients.


Medical centers have started using QR codes on marketing and promotional materials, posters and signs, particularly ones related to events. Some link to mobile landing pages for the destination, or send them directly to YouTube videos.

Mobile Navigation

Penn State Milton S. Hershey Medical Center has placed QR codes on maps throughout the hospital. The link goes to a PDF download of the same map. This is something that hospital visitors can then carry as they are moving throughout the hospital. It’s a great tool for people trying to navigate throughout a large medical center.

Inova Health System partnered with local farmers markets to encourage healthcare consumers to shop locally. They created QR codes that opens your phone’s mapping program to give you instant directions to local farmers markets.

QR codes are still in their infancy but definitely have a lot of potential in the healthcare field. Need more help in developing the right QR code for your business? Just scan our QR code with your smartphone to find out more.

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