Bar Coded Wrist Bands are Healthy Solution to Hospital’s Tracking Procedure

Posted October 13, 2010

Zebra Wristband Printers

Challenge: South Central Regional Medical Center needed to keep up-to-date with technology to provide their patients the utmost in care. They needed a system that would allow them to verify the patient’s identity before performing any procedures in the facility.

Solution: The Medical Center installed Zebra® Stripe® thermal transfer printers to print Z-Band™ wristbands. All wristbands are printed with the patient’s name, identification number, date of birth and gender. This same information is also embedded in a bar code along with the patient’s accounting charge number. The wristbands are clearly readable, easily scannable and more durable than traditional methods.

Application: Various departments throughout the hospital also use the bar code printers. For example, from a nursing station, a doctor issues orders specifying which tests need to be performed on which patients. This generates bar coded labels on the Stripe printers in Hematology. The hematologists take the labels to the patient floor and scan the patient’s wristbands to verify the patients’ identity. When a specimen is collected, it is labeled at bedside to ensure positive identification. The labeled samples are brought back to the lab where the various tests are performed. Once the tests are completed, the scanner releases the patient information into the hospital computer to update the patient’s chart.

Results: All hospital personnel who come into contact with patients can take advantage of the Z-Band’s easy-to-read, human-readable information. Since they are clearly readable and easily scannable, the caregivers can readily identify patients before performing any procedure. Scanning the bar code further safeguards the procedure.

In addition, the bar coded Z-Bands are more cost effective and durable than the traditional embossed cards and typed wrist band inserts. “With the embosser machine there were costly service contracts totaling hundreds of dollars each month,” said Dell Buchanan, the MIS materials management director. “Also, we no longer have to worry about illegible imprints and replacing wristbands on patients.”

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