Staff at the hospital lab unit were struggling to read batch and date information on patient labels used on sample tubes with a 100% accuracy owing to different handwriting styles and formats being used. To compound the issue there were also instances where the patient data on the sample tubes was smudged making the data illegible and the sample data unusable. Team members at the laboratory acknowledged that this issue could not be repeated and action to find a remedy was of great importance.
One of our technical team contacted the laboratory to determine the best course of action to take and recommend a solution that would improve both the readability of the sample data and the durability of the print.
To improve the readability and efficiency of the tube data it was recommended that the laboratory adopt an “On-demand” print system that would allow them to print onto labels direct using a predefined template. This would allow all of the users to print samples “in-house” to a high standard and an agreed format that would be easy to read. The unit also introduced barcodes and 2D codes onto the labels to offer accurate and efficient scanning of samples thus improving traceability within the unit.
The new print process offers the unit greater durability and enhanced flexibility for all of their label printing and enabled our technical team to recommend using a polyester label material capable of being used in harsh environments with the ability to withstand freezer storage and resistance to solvents, moisture and handling. This improvement eliminated the need to handwrite direct onto tubes and hospital labels and also resolved the issue of the smudging of patients data.
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