A clinician uses the CS60-HC to scan a patient's wristband and verify ID before administering medication.
By Brian Walters | December 18, 2020

Healthcare Processes, Patient Needs and Reporting Requirements are Changing Faster Than Ever. That’s Why Clinicians Need More Adaptable (and Patient-Friendly) Technology.

With versatile technology tools such as the new Zebra CS60-HC convertible corded + cordless barcode scanner deployed throughout the hospital, care team members can seamlessly capture patient and inventory data.

Things are never static in healthcare, yet I can’t remember a time in modern history in which there has been a force for change quite as powerful as COVID-19 has proven to be in 2020. In a matter of months, nearly every clinical workflow changed in some way as medical professionals scrambled to accommodate the rapid influx of patients and relieve the strain on supply chains.

Resource utilization is being scrutinized more closely than ever as healthcare providers work to continuously improve labor, supplies and equipment availability. We’re seeing the rollout of electronic verification and reporting capabilities increasingly prioritized to expedite administrative tasks such as reporting and allow for clinicians to coordinate care with disparate team members from patients’ bedsides. And, with fast diagnostic testing lauded as one of the best ways to manage patient care and improve outcomes, much effort is being put into optimizing specimen collection, transport and processing.

As such, barcode scanning technologies are becoming invaluable. Nearly every clinical workflow used to triage, test, treat and even discharge patients today either starts or ends with a barcode scan:

But not every barcode-based action is best supported by the same scanner form factor or functionality. You may be able to use a corded scanner at the admissions desk or pharmacy window, but clinicians, phlebotomists and others who spend all day on the move are better served by a cordless scanner that can safely be carried in a pocket or around the neck. Then there are the clinicians who would benefit greatly from a scanner that could quickly transform into a presentation – or hands-free – format for the workstation on wheels.

Something else that we’ve come to realize through conversations with clinicians is that not all barcode scanning technologies are beneficial to patients. For example, a quick scan of a barcoded wristband can allow for fast positive patient ID. Yet, some patients with post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD) are not comfortable having a red beam pointed at them, or even around them, even if it is just from a scanner. Additionally, given newborns’ slower blink rates, a laser-based scanner could adversely affect those in intensive care units (NICU).

And despite the number of multi-purpose barcode scanners marketed for use in healthcare settings, most are not built to tolerate today’s strict sanitation protocols. Any device used in clinical or patient-facing settings needs to be encased in highly resilient, disinfectant-ready plastics that can be wiped down using a multitude of potent cleaners without cracking or breaking. Scanners also need to be designed in a way that deters the spread of bacteria. For example, screw holes need to be covered and crevices and seams minimized.

Given all of these considerations – and the many more that arise when engineering a purpose-built healthcare solution – some might say that it’s impossible to create a scanner that can satisfy so many different workflows today and easily scale to meet future requirements. But it’s not. We’ve proven that with the new Zebra CS60-HC.

One Device, Lots of Options: How Clinicians, Patients and Administrators Win When Everyone is Standardized on the Same Scanning Platform

When the Zebra CS60-HC hit the market in October 2020, it became the first-ever healthcare barcode scanner to feature a 4-in-1 convertible design. That’s right. In mere seconds, this super light-weight scanner can take on any form to meet clinicians’ specific data capture requirements. It can be used as a cordless scanner at the patient’s bedside one minute and then – with a simple swap of the battery and addition of the corded USB convertor – transform into a corded scanner at a workstation the next. It can also be used as both a companion handheld scanner and a hands-free scanner as needed.

Even better, the CS60-HC has a host of adaptable features that make it uniquely suitable for use in a number of different healthcare settings, including…

  • a programmable second button that allows clinicians to instantly and easily interface with different host applications as they move through various workflows for easy multi-tasking.
  • a green LED aimer with white illumination rather than the usual red beam, which can trigger PTSD episodes in some patients, or laser, which can be harmful to premature babies who may not have fully developed blink responses. In turn, the scanner can be used throughout the entire hospital, including the NICU, labor and delivery and mother-baby units.
  • a night mode feature that enables clinicians to toggle between an audible beep or vibration to ensure medicines, specimens or IV bags are scanned without disturbing patients.
  • a workstation lamp to illuminate a clinician’s workspace without having to turn on the overhead lights.

It also solves many of the technology-related problems that distract care team members and disrupt patient care. For example:

Clinicians will no longer have to chase down devices thanks to the virtual tether feature that sends audible, haptic and visual alerts when a device is out of range, misplaced or unintentionally left out of the cradle for an extended period of time. There’s also a cap-touch page button that can be used to locate misplaced scanners when needed.

Users can pair the CS60-HC with any near-field communication (NFC)-enabled device using a quick tap feature – and without having to call for support.

The scanner’s monocoque design, crevice-free surface, inductive sensing touch buttons and contactless charging help eliminate places where germs can hide. And the disinfectant-ready housing enables users to thoroughly clean devices however often they feel necessary using intense healthcare-grade chemicals. In turn, both users and patients can be confident the device is not contributing to the spread of bacteria.

There’s a dedicated battery gauge that takes the guesswork out of charge status, so users know at a glance when it’s time to change or charge the battery. When it is, they have a number of charging options, including Qi inductive charging, presentation cradles, single slot scanners and battery chargers, and both four-slot device and four-slot battery chargers that are compatible with Zebra’s ShareCradle charging system.

This cutting-edge scanner is truly going to help both clinicians and patients have a better experience in hospitals!

I’m sure administrators and IT will also be thrilled to know that the CS60-HC was also designed to make their jobs easier. In addition to its transformational form factor, this one barcode scanner is loaded with a host of future-ready hardware and software features that will simplify solution deployment, management and scaling as data capture needs evolve. This includes DataCapture DNA, which is a unique collection of value-add tools that make it easier to deploy, update, troubleshoot, manage and develop applications for the CS60-HC scanner.

For example, 123Scan is an intuitive configuration wizard for easy setup, while Scanner Management Service enables remote management of your deployed devices. There are also two new tools – UDI Scan+ and Blood Bag Parse+ – that make it easy to capture and enter Unique Device Identification (UDI) and blood bag information into related applications. Simply scan the barcode on the medical device packaging or blood bag label and the barcode data is intelligently parsed, properly formatted and sent in the right order to the right fields in the Electronic Health Record (EHR) or other application.

To sum it up: the CS60-HC is capable of meeting nearly every clinical scanning requirement for the foreseeable future, even those not yet defined. That should be a relief for you!

How to Leverage This Transformational Scanner to Transform Your Healthcare Workflows

Given the growing burden on care team members to consistently deliver quality care despite rising demand, anything you do to ease data capture, improve records accuracy and protect patient safety will pay off. Considering the flexibility and scalability of the CS60-HC, the savings and return on investment (ROI) will likely be tremendous, especially as your scanning needs expand and evolve. This one scanner can accommodate more data capture workflows than any other single scanner you have deployed, and its versatility allows for easy implementation of new applications.

Healthcare providers already have to contend with a host of variables when deciding how to best manage patient care. They shouldn’t have to commit any time or thought to using technology in the course of their day. It should be simple and familiar.

This is true of IT as well. Your team is moving a million miles a minute trying to upgrade legacy systems and onboard new technology architectures that will deliver new diagnostic, operational and treatment capabilities. Choosing mobility and scanning solutions with simple deployments will benefit everyone.

Fortunately, the CS60-HC seamlessly integrates into existing healthcare workflows in a very non-obtrusive way. Plus, the thoughtfully designed convertible form factor and customizable functionality combine to boost process efficiencies, reduce the risk of manual data entry errors, minimize shift interruptions and ensure patients are left undisturbed. The CS60-HC can also scan damaged and hard-to-read barcodes without issue, allowing users to scan once and move on. That’s why I recommend you consider leveraging this new scanner for your different barcode-reliant workflows, including:

  • Admissions: electronic health record (EHR) access and PPID during check-in and triage
  • Point of care: PPID, specimen collection, EHR access, medication and fluid (IV) administration, inventory utilization reporting, equipment location reporting, discharge processing
  • Specimen transport and lab testing: positive ID and reporting of results for bodily fluid and tissue samples
  • Pharmacy: PPID, medication distribution and inventory management
  • Operating room and treatment centers: PPID, blood bag scans prior to transfusions, medical device/UDI scans prior to implantations
  • Stockrooms/warehouse: inventory management of everything from bandages to personal protective equipment (PPE) to testing and treatment administration supplies

If you’re curious about the CS60-HC’s applicability for other workflows or performance ranking compared to other scanning solutions you either have deployed or may be considering, give your Zebra sales representative or partner a call. They can answer any questions you may have and arrange a demo of the convertible device so that you can see exactly how easy it is to go from corded to cordless to handheld to presentation and back in a day’s time.

In the meantime, you may want to check out this video or these other resources:

They explain how the CS60-HC can help you simultaneously increase the efficiency of multiple data capture tasks and reduce the capital and operational costs associated with purchasing and managing multiple device types.


Healthcare, Innovative Ideas,
Brian Walters
Brian Walters

Brian Walters is a Senior Product Manager for Zebra’s Data Capture Solutions, Enterprise Visibility and Mobility business unit. Brian brings extensive knowledge in all facets of product and brand management, operations, sales and marketing and business development, participating in many C-level executive engagements, public speaking, training and business consulting activities.

Brian joined Zebra from Canon where he was responsible for the day to day management of several products and services, including net-new product offerings and vertical specific applications. During his tenure there, Brian was awarded with the Canon Americas Presidents Award (CAPA) in Business Development. Prior to Canon, Brian worked at ServiceSPAN, a telecommunications software provider, where he was responsible for a wide variety of marketing activities including brand management, product lifecycle management and communications. Before ServiceSPAN, Brian worked at CA Technologies where he was responsible for working with senior management to promote CA’s product offerings in a thought leadership capacity.

Brian holds a Bachelor of Science in Marketing from C.W. Post.

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