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Bar Codes Reduce Specimen Mislabeling

Specimen collection in today’s healthcare facilities may seem routine. Specialized skills, advanced equipment, and technological advances have helped to optimize patient care. However, even routine procedures can cause harm to patients if samples are improperly labeled. In fact, the College of American Pathologists found that specimen labeling errors account for over 50% of identification errors. Statistics show an estimated 160,000 adverse events happen in U.S. hospitals each year due to mislabeling. Think of the consequences of such mislabeling: inaccurate results, delayed or incorrect treatment, and patient harm.

Bar code labeling of blood and other samples at the time of collection is the best way to avoid such errors. An effective bar code labeling solution includes a mobile computer, mobile printer, and the proper label. 

  • A mobile computer captures patient data at the point of specimen collection and instantly records the activity into the patient’s electronic medical record.
  • A mobile printer creates the label at the point at which samples are taken. The label is then applied directly onto the vial, thereby eliminating any chance of mislabeling.
  • The appropriate label for the task is essential. Labels need to remain affixed and readable throughout processing in a lab. Therefore, you need the correct label materials, adhesives, and overlays to keep the bar code and text legible and scannable throughout specimen testing and storing.

With such a system in place, you have a complete bedside specimen labeling solution. Staff has access to real-time data, test requests, and changes to patient status. Can bar coding help your healthcare facility reduce mislabeling errors?  Call us today at 603.598.1553 x237 to find out how you can improve sample collection and identification.

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