Mobile Medical Sample Labeling

Posted April 3, 2012

Industry Need

Medical testing provides key information to physicians, serving as a foundational tool for diagnosing patient conditions. Accuracy is critically important; mistakes can lead to undiagnosed illnesses or inappropriate treatments. Current specimen vial labeling methods, however, are error-prone. Handwritten labels are subject to interpretation and manual data errors; labels preprinted at a central station and carried to the patient location introduce the chance for mix-ups. Mobile sample labeling eliminates these opportunities for errors, enhancing patient safety. Printing on Intermec media ensures robust traceability, meeting the application requirements of sample labeling from the point of collection through challenging laboratory conditions.

Automatic identification technologies such as bar coding excel at eliminating human error. Within the high-touch medical environment these systems have steadily improved patient safety. Errors resulting from manual data entry are unacceptable in a diagnostic environment where they can lead to lost samples (increasing time to diagnose and treat) or mistaken patient identities (potentially leading to incorrect diagnosis and course of treatment).

Recognizing the persistence of these errors, the Joint Commission on Accreditation of Healthcare Organizations (JCAHO) has made improving the accuracy of patient identification the first goal of the 2010 National Patient Safety Goals document. This goal requires blood and specimen containers to be labeled in the patient’s presence. Printing sample labels in place and on-demand with ID scanned from the patient’s wristband eliminates multiple points of error, enhancing patient safety.

Reference Link

JCAHO 2010 National Patient Safety Goals

Intermec Solution

Intermec Duratherm III permanent label stock has long been proven in blood vial applications. Its acrylic adhesive provides excellent hold on small diameter vials for extended periods through processing conditions from -75 to 120F. A durable topcoat protects print through moderate moisture and other incidental exposures.

For applications where significant moisture exposure is expected, the Duratherm III Synthetic face sheet version fits the bill. This product can endure extended water bath submersion; increased tensile strength ensures reliability in more challenging environments.

Bright white face stocks and dense print ensure these labels provide excellent bar code scanning. Optimized direct thermal chemistry reduces the level of printhead energy needed, maximizing labels printed per battery charge. Glove-friendly adhesive formulation ensures labels are easy for workers to apply.

The direct thermal printing method makes compliance with HIPAA requirements simple since no ribbon is required. (Spent thermal transfer ribbons retain a negative print image, and must be disposed of in a manner to ensure destruction if they contain confidential customer information.)


Duratherm III Paper Permanent
Duratherm III Synthetic Permanent

Printer Recommendation

PB22/32/50 Rugged Mobile Label Printers

  • Industry’s fastest label throughput
  • Rugged design for the harshest mobile environments
  • Easy to use and support
  • Powerful smart-printing capabilities eliminate the PC – the industry’s only “smart” mobile printers

PC23 Desktop Printer (for use with Computer On Cart)

  • Intuitive – Super Easy to Install & Use
    • 10-language LCD or Icon graphics user interface maximizes uptime
    • One hand media loading for trouble-free use
    • Fastest throughput in its class at 8 ips
    • Quick configuration with USB stick device
  • Flexible – Fits your business needs today & tomorrow
    • User installable connectivity upgrades and accessories for scalability
    • Leading command languages for seamless deployment
    • Modular IT-friendly design speeds up deployment and support
  • Smart – Keeps you informed & productive
    • Remote status updates with Intermec tools minimize downtime
    • Programmable with ability to directly add keyboard or scale
    • improves efficiency

The Intermec Advantage

With correct medical diagnoses relying on the accuracy and effectiveness of sample vial tracking, the labeling system must work together flawlessly. Intermec printers and media are optimized to deliver superior performance when used together. Our rigorous testing and co-engineering ensures consistently high print quality, proven label performance in demanding real-world environments, and maximum print head service life for reduced downtime.

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