How to track drugs using barcodes

 barcode scanning template

All pharmaceutical drugs sold worldwide carry barcodes. Over-the-counter medication such as paracetamol typically uses regular UPC barcodes. However, prescription drugs often carry FMD barcodes, which contain additional information such as the batch number and expiry date.

The Orca Scan drug tracking solution can scan any medication barcode using a smartphone, tablet or scanner and, where possible, extract the batch number and expiry date into a readable format. If the medication was issued by the NHS, additional information, such as the name of the drug and pack size, will also be provided. To get started:

  1. Download the Orca Scan barcode app
  2. Create a new sheet using the Drugs template
  3. Scan the barcode on the medication
  4. Confirm/enter the drug information and quantity
  5. Set a min/max stock level if required (via web app)
  6. Save the changes

Why use Orca Scan to track drugs?

The Orca Scan Drug Tracking solution provides the following benefits:

  1. Track drugs using existing medication barcodes (no need to create new barcodes)
  2. Get notification emails when stock is low by setting Min Stock level
  3. Get notification emails when overstocked by setting Max Stock level
  4. Product name, batch number and expiry date automatically populated
  5. Get an in-app notifications when an expired drug is scanned
  6. Use existing hardware (smartphones, tablets or barcode scanners)
  7. All data is stored securely in the cloud
  8. Access your data from any web browser or smartphone
  9. Share data across multiple sites/locations

Can I use the Drug Tracking template for Pharmacy Inventory?

Yes, the Drug Tracking solution was designed in collaboration with existing Orca Scan users who use Orca to track medication inventory across hospitals, ambulance stations, dental surgeries, care homes and veterinary surgeries.

Can I capture and record additional information?

Yes. Orca Scan is a fully customisable barcode scanner app; you can add fields to capture additional data such as text, signatures, photos and even GPS locations. The Drug Tracking solution is designed to act as a starting point; you can expand upon it as your inventory/tracking process evolves.

How do I track drugs across multiple sites/locations?

The best way to track drugs across multiple locations is to create an Orca Scan sheet for each site:

  1. Create a sheet using the Drug Tracking Template
  2. Add fields to capture additional information (if needed)
  3. Duplicate the sheet, one for each location
  4. Add the relevant users to the correct sheets

This approach provides the following benefits:

How do I set up a low-stock notification?

The Drug Tracking template contains a Min Stock hidden field that can only be accessed by an administrator using the Orca Scan web application. To set a low stock level for a specific product:

  1. Login to the Orca Scan web application
  2. Search for the item you wish to set a low stock warning for
  3. Enter the low stock number into the Min Stock field

That’s it. Whenever a product quantity falls below the Min Stock level, you will receive an email notification with related product information.

How do I set an overstock notification?

The Drug Tracking template contains a Max Stock hidden field that can only be accessed by an administrator using the Orca Scan web application. To set an overstock level for a specific product:

  1. Login to the Orca Scan web application
  2. Search for the item you wish to be notified about when it’s overstocked
  3. Enter the overstock number into the Max Stock field

That’s it. Whenever a product quantity goes above the Max Stock level, you will receive an email notification with related product information.

Drug tracking questions?

We built Orca Scan to eliminate the need to write down medication barcodes or type them into spreadsheets. Barcodes on drugs have the potential to reduce risk and save lives, but only if captured and recorded without errors.

If the Orca Scan Drug Tracking Solution does not entirely solve your problem, book a free implementation call, and we’ll help you modify the solution to meet your needs.

Get Started Need help? Book a demo