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The Visible Value Blog

How compact printers reduce patient sample collection errors

Posted by Wayne Miller

August 15, 2016 at 3:00 AM


Mistakes are inevitable and occur throughout all industries, yet errors, such as sampling errors, made within the healthcare sector are particularly serious as they can directly affect a patient’s wellbeing. As demand for healthcare services continues to rise, it’s imperative that processes become more efficient in order to limit mistakes and increase staff productivity. There are also severe financial implications that arise due to poor sampling processes, as the costs of redraws, retesting and additional treatment are substantial.

There is a growing consensus that issues relating to sample misidentification are a serious problem in the healthcare sector. It is estimated that sample identification errors are responsible for over 160,000 adverse events across hospitals in the United States every year. Misidentifying samples can have serious consequences; resulting in misdiagnosis and inappropriate treatment for patients.

The two main causes of sample identification errors are:

  • Carrying multiple labels into a patient room
  • Labelling away from a patient’s bedside

Compact printers resolve both of these issues. By allowing staff to print data closer to the point-of-task, the time spent and distance travelled to produce labels is minimised and samples can be taken with 99% accuracy. Studies have shown that organisations have reported significant error reductions after implementing point-of-care labelling, while printing closely to the point-of-task also increases productivity around the workplace, saving valuable time that staff can then spend treating their patients.

The right compact printer should be user-friendly, compliant with healthcare regulations and easy to clean. Whilst space constraints are often an issue within hospitals, the two-inch ZD410-HC fits in the smallest of spaces and can be mounted on a shelf, desktop or even a wall. If a larger or more durable label is required, the four-inch ZD420-HC is equipped with a timesaving ribbon cartridge to ensure quick and simple loading. Both printers are fast to ensure clinicians and carers do not waste valuable time waiting for labels to print, whilst support provided directly from the manufacturer ensures that a dedicated team of experts will resolve any queries or issues promptly. 

Label readability is of primary importance when selecting a printer for specimen labelling. Both models are capable of 300 dots per inch printing to ensure that even the smallest labels are easy to read. Five status icons provide users with all the information they need to operate and maintain the printers. In addition, moveable media sensors provide additional media options and multiple connectivity options to ensure printers can adapt to challenging healthcare settings. Printers can also be fully integrated with one another via the cloud, enabling seamless integration with hospital and medical centre systems.

Ultimately, improving patient safety and care are the fundamental reasons for implementing a more efficient sample collection method. By integrating simple and affordable track and trace systems with current sample collection processes, errors can be eliminated from the workplace.

Zebra Technologies - Bedside Specimen Labelling WhitepaperTo learn more about how barcode technology and printers can eliminate sampling mistakes and increase productivity, click here or the button below to download our white paper:

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Alternatively, to view our range of desktop and compact printers click here

Topics: Healthcare, Barcodes, Printers, EMEA, labelling,