This capability can result in anything from improving the speed of overnight package deliveries, decreasing manufacturing production errors, and though no one likes to get them, even improving the record quality of electronic traffic citations.
But no tracking metric has been more important to us than the improvement of patient safety through bar coded wristband printing.
According to the Institute of Medicine, more than 100,000 Americans die annually in U.S. hospitals because of avoidable medical errors - the eighth leading cause of death here in the states. That is higher than auto accidents or breast cancer.
Since the first bar coded wristband we printed in 1995, Zebra has been committed to patients and healthcare facilities by developing industry-leading thermal transfer technology that helps track patient and medication information with clearer, more reliable patient information. Better usable information leads to fewer medication errors.
Patient safety begins at the wrist. It is the single point where a healthcare practioner makes sure that the right patient gets the right medication at the right time. That is why we are marking a significant milestone. This month Zebra will have sold one hundred and twenty five million wristbands around the world; more than 50 percent of those in the last 18 months. This increase can be directly tied to the adoption rate of bedside bar code medication administration which requires scanning a patient's wristband and then scanning the medication before administering it to the patient.
But we are stopping at 125 million. We are continuing to incorporate new technologies that will make wristbands more comfortable, make them last longer, and even impervious to the print-fading results of hand sanitizers.