Nurses prefer smartphones over mobile computers. Is it a safe choice?

October 25, 2017

Bring Your Own Device (BYOD) emerged when workers preferred the convenience of using their personal smartphones for business. Employers appreciated the cost savings, but security issues and durability have become a major concern.

In hospitals, where regulations like HIPAA require patient privacy, is a consumer smartphone a safe choice for enterprise computing?

Studies show that the smartphone presents several flaws for healthcare mobility. Still, a 2014 study by Spyglass Consulting Group showed that nurses prefer using their personal smartphones at point of care:

  • 67% of the hospitals surveyed responded that nurses are using these devices to support clinical workflow and communication.
  • 80% of nurses use the standard, unsecured, HIPAA-non-compliant bundled SMS application that’s native to their personal smartphones.
  • 52% of nurses consult a smartphone for information instead of asking a colleague; 32% use an app on their phone rather than consult a doctor.
  • Less than 1% of nurses said the use of smartphones during their shift was prohibited by the hospital.

Rugged mobile computers now have the look of a consumer smartphone, but offer the significant advantages of an enterprise-grade computer. The Zebra TC51-HC touch computer, for example, looks and feels like a smartphone, but Zebra has created this mobile device to deliver healthcare functionality and performance that no smartphone can match:

  • More rugged. Zebra built this handheld computer with medical-grade plastic housing that withstands constant disinfecting. The device’s screw holes are covered and the number of crevices and seams have been reduced to eliminate places for germs to collect. The IP65 sealing prevents damage from dirt, dust, and even sprays of water. The Gorilla Glass touch panel and imager window protect against damage. The TC51-HC can also handle 4-foot drops and countless tumbles.
  • More power for multi– Run multiple voice and data apps simultaneously—like answering an urgent call while sending a high-resolution photo of a patient’s wound and accessing an EHR. The TC51-HC offers up to eight times more data storage capacity than other enterprise-class healthcare mobile computers, and it’s the only device in this class to use hexa-core technology.
  • Better imaging. In addition to a 1.3 MP camera, this handheld’s 13 MP ultra-high-resolution rear-facing camera delivers nearly three times the resolution found in competitive devices, providing more detailed imagery.
  • Flawless scanning. Protect patient safety and maintain efficiency with lightning-fast data capture of 1D and 2D barcodes, even those that are damaged, dirty, poorly printed, or displayed on a screen.
  • Secure text messaging. Zebra’s Workforce Connect Enterprise Messaging protects privacy with more secure voice and texting applications.
  • Fast, dependable connectivity. The TC51-HC support 802.11ac and r, enabling the fastest W-Fi speed and most robust roaming.
  • Long battery life. The best-in-class PowerPrecision+ battery delivers up to 14 hours of battery life.

Nurses juggle a lot of tasks in a shift. Equip them with a rugged, efficient, and user-friendly mobile computer. Talk to Coridian about the Zebra TC51-HC.

One size doesn’t fit all: Choose the right patient wristbands

October 11, 2017

Patient safety has been a critical priority for healthcare organizations, even before The Joint Commission first introduced the National Patient Safety Goals (NSPG) in 2003. Barcode technology has proven to meet the criteria for preventing errors that result from incorrect patient information.

The NSPG specified that at least two patient identifiers must be used whenever blood samples are drawn and medication and blood products are administered. Hospitals have adopted barcoded wristbands into their admission protocol. The barcode on the wristband is encoded with the patient’s name and patient ID number, which satisfies the NSPG criteria.

Coridian looked at the options for barcode wristbands. For durability, print quality, and comfort, Zebra’s thermal printable wristbands deliver successful results.

Zebra’s Z-Bands enable the hospital staff to print wristbands on demand, one at a time, using the Zebra HC100 wristband printer. These thermal printer wristbands provide distinct advantages:

  • The antimicrobial coating prevents the spread of bacteria.
  • The wristband’s barcode remains scannable for up to 14 days, longer than the average patient stay.
  • Z-Bands are made from polypropylene, with no metal content, making them MR-safe.
  • The Z-Bands come off the printer ready to attach to the patient’s risk. There’s no assembly required.
  • You can choose from an adhesive tab or color clip (in your choice of six colors to allow for easily visible identification).
  • Each variety of Z-Band is available in three different sizes: Infant, Pediatric, and Adult; the HC100 automatically adjusts to the wristband size.
  • Z-Bands are available in UltraSoft (the softest direct thermal wristband on the market), Z-Band Direct, Z-Band QuickClip, and Soft Infant Z-Band Direct, with a soft nylon backing to protect delicate skin.

Patient wristbands are a critical part of positive patient identification. Make sure you make the most of this step. Talk to Coridian about thermal printing for your barcode wristbands.

Move your specimen collection labeling to the point of care

September 27, 2017

Nearly 161,000 adverse events occur in U.S. hospitals every year as the result of medical errors in identifying specimens; 37% of the errors occur during the collection process.

In spite of the advances of automated data collection, some areas of healthcare haven’t yet embraced barcodes and mobility. Tasks like specimen collection become more accurate and efficient when you combine the two technologies and label the specimens at the point of care.

A mobile computer or scanner and a mobile barcode label printer are high-value tools that enable bedside specimen collection. The clinician simply scans the patient wristband to check the patient ID against the requisition. Once the sample is collected, the barcode label encodes the patient’s information, specimen, collector ID, and the date and time of the draw.

By loading the right media into the thermal printer, you can produce high-quality labels that endure the high temperatures of sterilization, the freezing of cryogenics, and the exposure to the many harsh chemicals that are used in processing lab samples.

Coridian has been focusing on the technology needs and challenges of the healthcare industry for more than 20 years. We’ve partnered with Zebra because of the company’s unmatched global expertise in this area. Zebra designs and engineers purpose-built solutions for healthcare, with the print quality and ruggedness to withstand the unique conditions of this environment.

  • Weighing less than two pounds each, Zebra’s QLn Series healthcare mobile printers produce 2- and 3-inch labels with sharp clarity. They integrate seamlessly into your printer network (including remote management). Powered by Bluetooth 3.0, the QLn Series mobile printers provide a robust, reliable wireless connection, with fast data transfer rates and greater range.
  • The Zebra TC51-HC mobile computer looks like a smartphone but performs with enterprise-grade security, scanning power, connectivity, and ruggedness. This powerful touch computer is designed to stand up to continual wipes with disinfectants. The screwholes are sealed and the crevices and minimized to prevent the spread of bacteria.
  • Zebra’s CS4070-HC companion scanner can be worn on a lanyard or carried in a pocket. The omni-directional scanning enables point-and-shoot simplicity with a wide working range. Like all of Zebra’s rugged mobile devices, this barcode scanner can handle the drops and bumps that happen on a daily basis.

Prevent medical errors that result from specimen label mistakes. Contact the healthcare technology experts at Coridian to make the move to greater mobility and the accuracy it provides.

Improve the health of your medical labels

September 13, 2017

Every industry faces its own unique challenges when it comes to labels. From compliance standards to packaging material and environmental conditions, every label must meet its own set of requirements.

In a hospital or healthcare organization, hygiene is a tantamount concern. Specimen labels, equipment asset tags, and patient wristbands must withstand the constant cleaning with disinfectants. Labs also require label media that can handle extreme temperatures, like cryogenics and sterilization, and the roughness of a centrifuge. If a label falls off or becomes illegible during a test, patient safety is compromised.

Blood transfusions present yet another challenge for hospitals and blood banks. The blood bags aren’t ordinarily easy to label, but it’s a critical need—both for the patient receiving the transfusion and to avoid having to dispose of the high-value asset of the blood itself.

Coridian has been designing and deploying healthcare technology solutions for more than two decades. We’ve invested in learning how medical labeling has evolved, to make sure our customers receive the best choices, both for the printers and the label media.

A thermal printer is the best choice for producing crisp, clear barcodes that remain scannable through all the rigors of every aspect of healthcare and testing. Laser printers, while usually convenient, don’t possess the technology to support automated data collection (i.e., barcodes). They’re also not an economical use of labels, since you’ll often waste the remainder of a sheet of labels. Zebra has engineered a complete line of healthcare-specific printers, from mobile to desktop to ID card printers.

For label media, we rely on genuine Zebra supplies. They’re available in literally thousands of combinations of media type, size, shape, and adhesive. With hundreds of existing dies available, Coridian can produce custom labels to meet every specification.

Don’t leave your medical labeling to chance. Be purposeful with a purpose-built solution that will ensure your labels are safe, durable, and easy to use. Talk to us at Coridian to learn more about your barcode label options.

Maximize the patient safety potential of a wristband

August 30, 2017

Patient safety begins at admission. From this first engagement to discharge, the patient needs the protection of an accurate, durable wristband. For the most protection, rely on the accuracy of barcode technology.

Positive patient identification was listed as one of the top 10 patient safety concerns in the latest ECRI Institute report. The Institute’s Patient Safety Organization reviewed 7,613 wrong-patient events that occurred between January 2013 and August 2015 in 181 different healthcare organizations. While most of the mistakes were caught before much harm was done, two were fatal.

Deploying a reliable wristband solution and verifying positive patient identification will prevent so much of the human error that prompts medical mistakes.

Before you decide to use your laser printer for wristbands, consider some of the compromises that choice will require. A laser-printed wristband lacks the print quality and durability of a thermal-printed wristband. Your staff will spend more time assembling a laser-printed wristband—outputting the label and inserting it in a sleeve or adhering to the band. A laser-printed barcode isn’t as crisp as a thermal printed one, so your staff might have difficulties scanning the wristband. Between damaged and unreadable laser-printed barcodes and the less durable design, your staff will spend additional (and unnecessary) time reprinting and replacing the laser-printed wristband. Also, changing the paper tray for the laser printer can be cumbersome (and annoying for the person who accidentally prints a document on your wristbands), and media is frequently wasted.

At Coridian, we recommend the Zebra HC100 wristband printer. This dedicated thermal printer makes it easy to produce durable wristbands that remain scannable longer than the average stay. Just insert one of the drop-in wristband cartridges (sized for infant, pediatric, or adult) and the printer automatically calibrates to the size, which reduces waste. Remove the Z-Band wristband from the printer and attach it to the patient’s wrist. There’s no assembly required!

As a purpose-built printer for healthcare, the HC100 is encased in disinfectant-ready plastic. It stands up to the constant cleaning that’s necessary in a healthcare environment. It also features a medical-grade power supply for added safety. The Z-Bands protect the patient with antimicrobial coating. And the wristband is durable enough to last longer than the average patient stay in the hospital, so you don’t have to replace them—another savings.

Coridian wants to help you increase patient safety. Contact us to learn more about a dedicated barcode wristbanding solution.

4 Technology Trends Every Manufacturer Needs to Remain Competitive

June 6, 2017

We are seeing some exciting trends in the automatic data capture space that can help your business improve productivity and profitability. Let Coridian help you explore these technologies and see how they can move your business forward.

Here are the trends:

  • Transition from 1D to 2D Scanning
  • Mobile Operating System Migration – From Windows to Android
  • Device Management
  • Printing and Supplies Optimization

Click here and complete the simple form for a link to learn more about each component in our new ebook Future Proofing your Operation

Why You Should Choose WLAN for Your Warehouses, Part 3

February 1, 2016

In our last two blogs Part 1 and Part 2, we spoke about a few of the efficiencies WLAN could bring to your warehouse. Let’s look at a few more advantages of WLAN.

Quickly Ship Orders

As a manufacturing business, you must account for all items shipped from your facilities. If you’re a retail distributor, that may mean thousands of items each day to all parts of the country or even across the globe. This large volume of shipments proves very difficult when using paper-based processes, as they require clerks to record product codes and serial numbers manually as items are packed on trucks to be shipped out.

Using a wireless network makes such a task must easier because it enables the clerk to record an item’s shipment by simply scanning its bar code. After this happens, the system can create and print a shipping label that complies with customer-specific requirements. It can also identify route information for the carrier to use when specific delivery trucks are loaded.

Considerations: Coverage Issues

You’ve read the benefits of WLAN, now let’s look at some of the other considerations—namely, RF coverage issues. Metal racks and other obstacles can block wireless radio signals and cause irregular coverage. Because of this, additional access points may be needed to fully cover your warehouse(s).

To ensure your WLAN needs are fully met, perform frequent RF monitoring of all coverage areas, and take measurements where scanners will be operated. Finally, ask your clerks when and where they have problems. Remember that coverage can change as clerks edit the configuration of storage racks over time. Typically, bar code systems are transaction-oriented, and the loss of connectivity in the middle of one can cause issues. Don’t let this happen at your warehouses.

WiNG 5 Wireless LAN from Zebra Technologies, as provided by Coridian, is your answer to greater efficiencies. Let Coridian help you make the most of your wireless tech and move your business forward. Contact us today.

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