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.

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.

Need help satisfying the FDA’s Unique Device Identification (UDI) requirements?

March 10, 2015

Medical Device Manufacturers are you ready to meet the FDA Unique Device Identification compliance requirements and deadlines?   Coridian offers complete Unique Device Identification software, Coridian UDI Solutionshardware, media and integration solutions. To learn more about the FDA UDI requirements and how Coridian Technologies can assist you in meeting them click here?

What areas of your warehouse could prosper from integrating bar coding technology? PART 2

June 17, 2014

Use bar code technology to stay competitive with Inventory Management

How well is your warehouse stocked?  Purchasing agents work closely with warehouse managers to ensure that there is enough inventory in a company’s warehouse so that when an order is placed by awarehouse_inventor customer, it can always be fulfilled.  However, much of the time, warehouse managers are carrying a surplus of inventory simply as a security measure to make sure that there is enough inventory.  Typically, the companies that can’t provide timely and accurate information about their inventory are the ones that carry excess amounts to make sure they can fulfill order promises.  As a result, warehouses are jam-packed with inventory, creating special problems.  This inventory overage can cause confusion when it comes to cycle counts.  Billing becomes bogged down and extra inventory creates less profit to the bottom line.  But the most important issue to consider in order to run your warehouse smoothly and effectively is how competitive your operation makes your business within your industry.  Businesses that have easily accessible information that is accurate and reliable earn a competitive advantage.

Bar coding systems provide users with the ultimate level of control.  If you can show your customers your well-run operations, you have the opportunity to earn new business simply based on your efficient operations management.  You must be able to retain information not just for your customers but for your own profitability as well.

What areas of your warehouse could prosper from integrating bar coding technology? PART 1

June 11, 2014

One area of your warehouse that could prosper from introducing an automated inventory management system that integrates bar coding technology is your receiving area.

The first step is answering the following question:receiving

What type of information do you gather when you receive an incoming shipment from another vendor or a customer?

There are various ways to implement bar coding that will allow you to record and then view the entire history of a product, case box, or pallet.  An employee can not only tell where the product has been, but also understand where the product must be stored, which could include a direct delivery to the production line versus storage in the warehouse.  This information is vital to reducing storage space and to saving time in warehouse and product labor, simply because the receiver knows exactly where the product must go next.  In addition,  the bar code may include tracking information that is invaluable if there were ever a recall for a particular part used on the product being recalled, saving thousands of dollars for the company.

Come back  for PART 2 – Using bar coding for Inventory Management

Importance of Label Selection in the Lab: Why you can’t lose your ID and how you can avoid it.

May 28, 2014

By:  Dana Ray, Global Market Manager at Brady Worldwide for Lab and Medical

When was the last time you lost your license or ID card?  For most of us, it’s been a long time, if at all.  Identification is one of the things we know is vitally important for us to function in our lives so we tend to keep really close track of where it is at all times.  Driving a car (legally), boarding a plane, cashing a check, buying beer – all rely on having ID available.  So keeping tabs on that plastic card is critical because we know that if we lose our ID… we’re screwed.

So ID is crucial to our lives.  But do we feel the same about the ID of our lab work?

Who has time to worry about labels?

In the lab, few people spend time thinking about the specimen label when they are setting up their sample identification protocol.  Most efforts are spent determining which information needs to be added to the sample and how it will be tracked.  But we don’t necessarily consider how the ID will survive for as long as the sample itself is in existence.

Losing a sample’s identification can have the same detrimental effect as us humans losing our personal ID.  Here are just a few examples:

  • Time lost relabeling samples
  • Repeating tests
  • Patient misdiagnosis
  • Lost research

A lost sample label can result in millions of dollars of waste annually in the lab.  In fact, in 2005, the cost of identification errors was estimated at $280,000 per million specimens.  No doubt it is much higher now.

Where labels can fail

Selecting the right method to identify your samples should be a critical element of your identification protocol, given harsh temperatures from -196°C to 121°C and chemicals like, ethanol and xylene, used in the lab for sample prep, testing and storage.  It is just as important as how the samples are handled, the type of information on the sample and how the resulting data will be stored and used.

Because a lost sample ID is the same as not having a sample (or the resulting data) at all.

Fortunately, ensuring you have the right sample identification solution is easy when you follow these tips:

  1.  Know your environment!  Think about the environment the sample will live in through its entire life cycle.  For example, if samples will be incubated during processing but ultimately stored at -80°C, make sure you select a label material that survives both temperature extremes.
  2.  Dump the marker!  Handwriting is the least durable and most unreliable way to identify a specimen.  Not only is chemical exposure a big challenge for that type of ink (aka “the dreaded ethanol drip”) but you also have to deal with your lab mate’s illegible handwriting.  Always print your specimen identification – I recommend thermal transfer printing for the most durable print.
  3. Look for evidence!  You’re a scientist so you should love this part!  Find a label supplier who has developed labels specifically for the lab and has the technical information readily available to prove performance for the label and print.
  4. Test, test, test!  Last step…No supplier can recreate your specific lab environment so ask for samples and test in your lab to confirm performance.  Reputable label suppliers will provide test labels for free.

You wouldn’t do things to risk losing your personal ID so don’t put your work at risk with an inferior sample ID protocol.   Now let’s go grab a beer – don’t forget your ID!

For more on best lab labeling practices, lab solutions, and Brady label samples, contact Coridian at 952-361-9980 (option 3) or

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