zebra logo

The Visible Value Blog

Super Six: Specimen Collection

Posted by Andy Tippet

September 16, 2014 at 2:01 PM


Last month, we introduced the Super Six to The Visible Value Blog. Recall that in this series, we explore the ways that Zebra is providing solutions to the healthcare industry.  Each post focuses on one particular category and examines the ways in which Zebra is actively providing healthcare facilities with solutions to improve the way they operate.

The Zebra healthcare team’s goal is to provide customers with meaningful solutions that address their main healthcare applications, which fall into six categories. These areas, known as the healthcare “Super Six,” are:

1. Positive Patient ID

2. Specimen Collection

3. Laboratory Labeling

4. Medicine Labeling

5. Access Control

6. Tracking

In this second segment, we take a closer look at specimen collection: what it is, why it’s important and the solutions Zebra provides to help hospitals improve efficiencies and ensure patient safety. This post comes on the heels of the public announcement of the GK420HC, so in case you missed it, check out the top 5 things to know about the printer

Hospitals serve but one purpose: to correctly identify and treat sickness to restore health. Doctors, nurses, and other medical staff often perform a series of tests on human biological samples to determine the problem affecting the patient's well-being.


The process of collecting a specimen relies on mobillity, and Zebra Healthcare has the mobile collection solution components, including the QLn Series Healthcare mobile printers and GK420 Healthcare desktop printer, which are tailor made to bring a higher level of safety to the process. For starters, they're made of medical-grade plastics that are easy to disinfect and can withstand frequent cleanings. The printers can be configured to automatically print out the correct number of labels needed based on the sample request, thus helping to eliminate the risk of an employee mislabeling or failing to label a specimen.

In addition, the GK420 has a medical-grade power supply that meets the IEC 60601-1 technical standards for the safety and effectiveness of medical electrical equipment, meaning the printer is safe to use within six feet of a patient's bed without the risk of electrical conflict. According to Kathie, Zebra's GK420 is the only desktop labeling product in the healthcare market with this electrical certification.

The use of Zebra's QLn Healthcare series mobile printers enables hospitals to improve specimen collection at the point of care.

When phlebotomists scan the patient's wristband, they can automatically pull up the patient's Electronic Health Record (EHR) to verify identity. The EHR includes collection instructions, such as the type and amount of sample needed and the proper equipment to use. The phlebotomist would then scan their own badge to automatically add their name to the EHR as the person who is drawing the sample.

These correctly labeled specimens are then transferred to the lab, where a technician prepares the samples for testing. Both employees and patients benefit from the improved efficiencies: employees have fewer steps to go through to correctly label and identify specimens, and patients are protected through positive identification and the employee's ability to label specimens at the point of care.

For more ways in which Zebra is partnering with hospitals to improve patient safety and care and eliminate errors, stay tuned for the next installment of the Super Six Series: Laboratory Labeling.

To learn more about the benefits of mobile specimen collection, download the whitepaper here! 


About the Author: As healthcare practice lead – Americas, Andy Tippet oversees healthcare practice for North America and South America Regions of Zebra Technologies. Tippet provides planning and execution on marketing initiatives to drive revenues.

Topics: Healthcare, APAC, North America, Latin America, EMEA