White Paper | June 30, 2012

White Paper: How To Automatically Index Scanned Forms Using Barcodes

Source: Accusoft

Barcodes are a common sight on consumer products. Almost every retail transaction in North America is driven by the scanning, recognition and lookup of barcode data. But did you know you can also add barcodes to the forms your organization creates? Doing so gives the scanned image a readily identifiable key (a patient, client or customer id), which allows for easy storage and retrieval in a database or content management system. Using a barcode to associate a scanned image with a unique key is called automatic indexing (or “autoindexing”) of documents. Auto-indexing is enabled by an easy to use, read-write Barcode SDK, such as Barcode Xpress from Accusoft. In Barcode Xpress, adding barcode creation and recognition can be done in just a few lines of code. Here are a few use cases showing practical application.

Use Case: Medical Patient Registration Form

Let’s consider a simple application: patient registration forms for a doctor’s office. The forms are pre-printed, with explanatory text and a space for the patient’s name, date and signature. Add a barcode to the top of this page which contains the patient’s id and name and when the form is scanned, it can be automatically attached to the patient’s electronic record. In this example, we will use a 2D barcode to maximize the amount of information which can be stored. Barcode Xpress supports writing of the 2D DataMatrix and PDF417 formats, both of which have compact footprints, which allow them to be easily integrated into the existing whitespace on a form. We’ll print the patient’s name and ID, separated by a colon, about 5/8 of an inch inset from the top and left hand edges of the pre-printed form. Next, encode the patient’s name ("Scott Wilson") along with an ID ("2011-0123456789-01-234-5678") with a colon separating the two fields. This produces a DataMatrix barcode.

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