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Improve Patient Safety with a Quality Wristband Solution

Posted December 21, 2010

Improve Patient Safety with Wristband Solution from IntermecHow Printer Choice and Other Variables Impact Wristband Quality, Positive Patient Identification and Medical Errors

The foundation for patient safety is positive patient identification, which begins with the wristband. Poor quality wristbands can lead to patient misidentification and medical errors. Poor quality wristbands can also prevent organizations from leveraging processes and tools for enhancing patient safety, including automated Five Rights checks, bar code point-of-care (BPOC) systems and electronic medical administration records (eMAR). By improving wristband quality, and improving the convenience of how wristbands are produced, healthcare organizations can improve the accuracy, efficiency and quality of patient care.

A wristband’s ability to enhance quality of care depends on the quality of the wristband itself. Unfortunately, wristband quality varies widely and cannot be taken for granted. Incidents of wristbands falling off or becoming illegible are not uncommon. Consequently, transcription errors and patient misidentification aren’t uncommon either. Wristband print quality will become even more important as bar coding becomes more prevalent in healthcare.

Wristband quality and consistency depend heavily on the print technology, printer model and wristband material used. This white paper highlights how these variables impact wristband quality, documents the links between wristbands, positive patient identification and patient safety, and provides guidance for wristband solutions that deliver accuracy, safety and convenience throughout the patient care path.

Why Wristband Quality Matters to Patient Safety

Wristband quality directly affects accuracy in patient identification. Patient misidentification was the root cause of 72 percent of adverse events according to a U.S. Veterans Administration (VA) Health System study.

A UK study found that missing wristbands and wristbands with incorrect information were directly responsible for 236 incidents and near misses in a 19-month period.

Numerous patient safety studies, organizations and government agencies have called for improving positive patient identification processes, often citing the benefits of bar code-based automated wristband checks. Despite some progress in this area and increased use of bar code medication administration, electronic medical records and other automated safeguards, there is still substantial room for improvement. In recognition of this need, the Joint Commission (JCAHO) made its top National Patient Safety Goal (NPSG) for 2010: Improve the accuracy of patient identification. It has been the number- one goal every year since the NPSG program began in 2002.

The implications of patient misidentification are clear. For example:

  • Medication errors harm more than 1.5 million people in the U.S. each year
  • Hospitals alone spend an estimated $3.5 billion annually treating erroneous drug-related injuries contributing to unnecessary care costs
  • There were 116 wrong-site surgeries, including surgery on the wrong patient, reported to the Joint Commission in 2008 (the last year for which data is available), making wrong-site surgery the most-reported sentinel event in 2008

Two thirds of blood transfusion errors are associated with incorrect recipient identification at the patient bedside.

There are several common wristband problems that contribute to patient identification errors. Leading problems include wristbands that are missing, damaged or contain illegible information. Sometimes wristbands are smudged or fade from the time they are printed. If bar codes are used, slight imperfections like these can easily make the symbols unreadable. Wristbands with no initial quality problems may become unreadable or fall off after several days of wear and exposure to common things like water, soap, alcohol and other sanitizers. Many of these quality problems and their causes are not readily apparent, but the medical error data previously referenced clearly shows some of the risks of poor wristband quality.

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CipherLab 1704 Rugged 2D Barcode Scanner Ready For Any Environment

Posted December 17, 2010

With IP54-sealed rugged design, audio/visual/tactile scan confirmation, high-resolution 2D capabilities and 1.3 megapixel imaging, the CipherLab 1704 is ready for the future.

CipherLab, adds a new dimension to its leading range of rugged mobile computers and barcode scanners with a feature- packed new 2D device. The CipherLab 1704 offers 1D/2D functionality and 1.3 megapixel imaging capabilities in a single, affordable package that can cope with everything from 3 mil barcodes to signatures, and optionally even full A4 documents. Another standout feature of the 1704 is its innovative scan confirmation system, which includes variable volume level, LED and vibrator. CipherLab’s trademark rugged design and the sheer versatility of the 1704’s feature set reduce the total cost of ownership, making it a great long-term investment in employee productivity.

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New Software Allows Bluetooth Barcode Scanners to connect to Android Devices

Posted December 14, 2010

Software developers can now add commercial-grade barcode scanning capabilities to Android applications

Socket Mobile announced the availability of SocketScan 10 beta for Google Android. SocketScan 10 is a highly versatile barcode scanning software tool that enables developers to add commercial-grade rapid and robust barcode scanning capabilities to their smartphone, tablet, notebook and desktop applications. Compatible products for the beta Android release include all v3 models of the Socket Bluetooth® Cordless Hand Scanner™ (CHS) Series 7 portable 2D and 1D barcode scanner.

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Datamax 4te Printer and Qualcomm OmniTRACS Mobile Information System Refine Crude Oil Transportation

Posted December 14, 2010

Genesis EnergyEvery day, millions of people drive into gas stations to refuel their cars without giving a thought to the process of how that fuel gets there when they need it. Genesis Crude Oil plays a central role in transporting fuel to gas stations in the Gulf Coast region of the Unites States, which encompasses the states of Texas, Louisiana, Arkansas, Mississippi, Alabama, and Florida.

Genesis Crude Oil is a division of Houston-based Genesis Energy, a growth-oriented company with a diverse portfolio of customers, operations, and assets, including refinery-related plants, pipelines, storage tanks, and terminals The primary function of Genesis Crude Oil is moving crude oil, via trucks, from pumping stations to strategically located storage facilities, where the product is held until it’s time to move it to a refinery.

To make sure its deliveries always flow smoothly, Genesis Crude Oil equipped its fleet of trucks with the OmniTRACS® Mobile Information System from Qualcomm Enterprise Services. This system allows Genesis dispatchers to maintain contact with all drivers at all times. “We can use the OmniTRACS® System to send messages to drivers in places that cell phones don’t reach,” says Terry Lincecum, Louisiana district manager for Genesis Crude Oil.

The system, which relies on satellite technology, also sends data about conditions on the truck—such as its current location or the temperature and weight of the product being carried—back to regional headquarters. “If there’s a problem with one of our trucks after it leaves the pick-up location, we can find out about it before the driver reports it,” Lincecum says. That’s an important capability, because drivers are picking up crude oil from pumping stations in remote areas, and having to wait for drivers to be in cell phone range to learn about problems could delay finding solutions.

Problem

About a year ago, as the Louisiana region was adding new trucks to its fleet, Lincecum discovered a way to make the OmniTRACS® System even more valuable: he upgraded the printers they use with the system. Genesis Crude Oil drivers rely on wireless mobile printers to generate receipts confirming the contents of the loads they pick up from each customer. The driver also keeps a copy of the receipt to use as a manifest if a Department of Transportation inspector asks for documentation of the truck’s contents.

The information on that receipt also is transmitted, via the OmniTRACS® System, to Genesis Crude Oil headquarters, facilitating accurate recordkeeping. “As we were adding the new trucks, we realized that the printers we were using were becoming obsolete,” Lincecum recalls. One clue to this obsolescence was the increased frequency with which those printers were being repaired. After reviewing the costs of those ongoing repairs, Lincecum thought it was time to consider replacing them.

Solution

Genesis Crude Oil selected the Datamax microFlash 4te wireless portable thermal transfer printer. The 4te is the latest version of Datamax-O’Neil’s legendary 4t printer, the industry’s leading portable thermal printer and the defacto standard for route accounting and field mobile printing applications.

To accommodate the need for faster transaction processing in the fast-paced world of mobile field applications, the 4te printer incorporates a new, 32-bit RISC ARM 9 processor that allows the printer to process complex applications up to ten times faster, and enables the user to enjoy exceptionally high print throughput. It can print up to 2,240, 6-inch receipts on a single battery charge with automated, power-saving sleep and wake-up modes.

That printing capability was a selling point for Genesis Crude Oil, which was getting complaints from drivers about having to replace the paper in the older printers too often. But the most attractive feature of the 4te, according to Lincecum, was the newly developed kit for pairing the printer with the Qualcomm OmniTRACS® System. The kit made the transition to the new printer seamless. “Our drivers and customers really like these new printers,” Lincecum says. “The drivers like them because they don’t have to change the paper as often; that improves their efficiency. Customers like them because the print quality is much better. The receipts are much easier to read.”

Results

Lincecum says Genesis Crude Oil is pleased that the 4te is continuing the Datamax-O’Neil tradition for product reliability. After six years in the field, fewer than 10 percent of the units have ever been in a repair facility, even though they operate in harsh industrial environments.

“We don’t have nearly as much downtime now,” Lincecum says. “With our previous printers, when one went down, the driver would have to locate another truck nearby and wait for that driver to show up to print a receipt for the customer. We haven’t had those issues with the Datamax-O’Neil printers.”


Psion Introduces EP10, Low-Cost Rugged PDA

Posted December 9, 2010

As part of its new product development strategy, rooted in its Omnii product platform, Psion announced its latest rugged PDA device, the Psion EP10 handheld computer.

“We’re excited to launch our latest product in China, the world’s second largest economy, where mobile computers help run many of the most demanding logistical operations and where manufacturing, exports, transport and shipping dominate,” said John Conoley, Chief Executive Officer, Psion.

The new Psion EP10 is a small and durable PDA device that offers high performance, extensive features, communications capability and durability. It represents a major addition to the company’s portfolio of mobile business devices and offers all the functionality of high-end, full-size devices in a smaller form factor and at an affordable price.

Psion EP10 Product Highlights

  • Texas Instruments latest high performance processor, the Sitara 3715 (OMAP3) at 800 MHz
  • Large 3.7” full VGA transflective display
  • 3GMA and CDMA, Wi-Fi and Bluetooth
  • Full range of interactive sensors including Digital Compass, Gyroscope, light sensor, proximity sensor and Accelerometer.

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Zebra Technologies Introduces ZMotif CardStudio Card Design Software

Posted December 9, 2010

Zebra ZMotif Card StudioClassic, Standard or Professional CardStudio Software Offered for Basic to Advanced Card Design and Printing

Zebra Technologies, announces the release of its ZMotif CardStudio card design and issuance software suite this week. CardStudio is a Zebra card design software application for intuitive design, encoding and printing of simple to complex design cards. CardStudio is available now, in 11 different languages worldwide.

Ideal for a variety of markets, CardStudio is easy to use right out-of-the box. Users are able to design cards for access control, gift cards, loyalty and club cards, school identification and library cards, and visitor badges. This software is optimised for all Zebra card printers including: direct-to-card, retransfer, current and legacy models, and contains many new features and benefits for anyone looking at designing and printing cards. CardStudio’s Direct-to-Printer (D2P) technology optimises print quality and performance by providing advanced print control functionality from card design elements directly to the printer. New capabilities and features such as new software only license manager, and D2P print technology demonstrate Zebra’s commitment to deliver and innovate productivity software for ID cards across a wide range of industries and hardware/software solutions.

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Zebra Z-Band Fun and Z-Band Splash Durable Water-resistant Wristbands

Posted December 8, 2010

Durable material and water-resistant adhesive creates a wristband that last for days; Hi-resolution images enable easy cashless payment options for guests.

Zebra Technologies, announced the launch of the Z-Band Fun and Z-Band Splash wristbands. The economical bar coded wristbanding solutions are ideal for amusement parks, theme and water parks, sporting events, and concerts. The wristband’s on-demand printing capability promises to create a splash in the amusement and attraction market.

The Z-Band Splash wristband features a durable, water-resistant adhesive which is perfect for water parks, resorts and cruise lines. Using direct thermal printing, Z-Band Fun bar coded wristbands can offer entertainment venues significant benefits compared to RFID wristbands.

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Zebra ZXP Series 3 Card Printer for Smart Card Applications Announced

Posted December 8, 2010

Zebra Technologies announced the new ZXP Series 3 card printer. Available in the first quarter of 2011, the ZXP Series 3 extends Zebra’s card printer product line with a new model that combines performance and affordability in a small footprint ideally suited for most card printing and encoding applications.

The ZXP Series 3 is unique to the card printing market, employing several advanced features that provide best-in-class performance at an attractive price point. The ZXP Release 3 ZRaster host-based image processing technology takes advantage of the increased processing power of today’s PCs to significantly optimise image and print quality while increasing overall print speed throughput. This permits greater sophistication in image optimisations without sacrificing printer speed or adding cost. Additionally, new Zebra high performance card ribbons employ an improved chemical formulation specifically designed for fast high-quality image printing. Zebra is first to market with the new ribbons, which provide more efficient dye transfer and greater durability under printing conditions. Both these innovations work together to provide better image quality and faster throughput without compromising reliability or cost.

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Zebra CardStudio: New ID Card Printer Software from Zebra

Posted November 23, 2010

Zebra is excited to announce CardStudio™ id card software for Zebra® card printers. CardStudio will be available as a stand-alone or bundled product, and will support all current and legacy Zebra id card printers—both direct-to-card and retransfer.

Three different versions of Zebra CardStudio will be available: Continue reading »

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Large Food Distributor Pioneers Cordless Point-of-sale System

Posted November 23, 2010

Gruppo Maiorana, One of Italy’s Largest Food Distributors Chooses Datalogic Scanning’s PowerScan Readers to Outfit Cash & Carry Outlets

Overview

Gruppo Maiorana S.p.A. is the holding company of one of the strongest leaders in the food distribution market as well as one of the largest commercial real estate holders in central and southern Italy. Gruppo Maiorana’s extensive field experience, local market knowledge and professionalism are among the factors that have contributed most to its growth.

The operating companies of the group include Maiorana Maggiorino S.p.A., a commercial market service company handling food distribution and wholesale cash & carry outlets, and Emme Più S.r.l., a retail company that directly manages a chain of supermarkets and hypermarkets.

The Challenge

Although Gruppo Maiorana is a 35 year industry veteran, it has the characteristics of a modern company with new facilities dedicated to monitoring business management, marketing and information systems. With these facilities, Gruppo Maiorana’s ceD department (Centro Elaborazione Dati or Data Processing Center) is able to develop all IT projects internally. using the most competent, leading-edge hardware, this department led Gruppo Maiorana to become one of the first to install cordless bar code readers at its cash & carry outlet, Maiorana Maggiorino.

With the intention of equipping their stores with powerful tools to optimize business processes, Maiorana Maggiorino decided to invest in a new bar code scanning solution to upgrade its point-of-sale (POS) systems. since Maiorana Maggiorino carries over 30,000 different products, the hardware needed to be able to read diverse bar code symbologies (i.e. 1D linear and stacked codes) in all types of quality. The solution also needed to be cordless to provide the operator with the freedom to move, especially with two operators working: one to scan the customer’s items and the other to complete the transaction.

The Solution

After testing, Maiorana Maggiorino purchased Datalogic’s Powerscan PM8300-D readers with display screen to handle transactions at the Pos. “Datalogic scanning’s proven reliability and excellent reputation combined with the field testing of several other Auto ID technologies made us confident in selecting the Powerscan PM8300 readers,” said Fabio Mancini, Purchasing and ceD Manager, Gruppo Maiorana S.p.A.

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