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Datalogic’s PreScan Queue-Busting system Lends a Hand to Online Shoppers

Posted October 20, 2010

Datalogic IGA

IGA Grocer Uses Datalogic Scanning’s PreScan Queue-Buster to Facilitate the Execution of a Successful Online Shopping Program, “Need a Hand?”

Overview

IGA North Sydney is a supermarket located on the north side of the Sydney Harbor in Australia, the heart of Sydney’s second largest Central Business District (BBD) precinct. Founded in 1993, IGA North Sydney has grown to become one of the most successful stores in the IGA network. one of the keys to IGA North Sydney’s success is leveraging new technologies to differentiate their customer offering. It’s safe to say their strategy has worked as their growing customer base recently required a checkout expansion to quadruple customer capacity at the point-of-sale (POS).

The Challenge

Located in a prominent business district, IGA North Sydney wanted to reach an untapped market in the area: local business people who are short on time and prefer to do their shopping online. To support this market, IGA North Sydney decided to implement a customized software tool and create an online shopping program called “Need a Hand?” the 100% complementary service allows customers to avoid the tedious task of grocery shopping yet still access the store’s entire suite of products from the comfort of their home / office.
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Datalogic Magellan 3300HSi: Breakthrough Single Plane Imaging Barcode Scanner

Posted October 20, 2010

Datalogic 3300HSiThe Datalogic Magellan 3300HSi high performance omni-directional barcode scanner is the latest imaging-based scanner from Datalogic. Accompanying the recently announced Magellan 3200VSi scanner, the Magellan 3300HSi scanner is the world’s first single plane in-counter barcode scanner to use imaging technology. The result is a bar code scanner that leverages the reading performance of laser barcode scanners with added benefits, including the ability to read two-dimensional (2-D) bar code symbologies.

The Magellan 3300HSi scanner uses new imaging technology and software developed by Datalogic to considerably improve the scanner’s first pass read rates on hard-to-read bar codes, such as truncated codes and GS1 DataBar codes. This yields a performance gain for the retailer’s point-of-sale system by increasing operational efficiency while ensuring faster and better customer service.

Imaging technology significantly enhances the reliability of the Magellan 3300HSi scanner by using a solid-state design. By eliminating the need for high-speed motors and laser diodes, the Magellan 3300HSi scanner has an improved mean-time-between-failure (MTBF) rate, which reflects in an improvement in the retailer’s Total Cost of Ownership (TCO).

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Janam Introduces Rugged Antimicrobial Handheld Computers for Healthcare

Posted October 15, 2010

Janam Technologies announced a new mobile healthcare solution that extends the company’s popular XM Series product line with antimicrobial versions of the XM66 and XM60+ rugged handhelds. The new XM66AM and XM60+AM provide the healthcare sector with rugged antimicrobial devices that support mobility solutions aimed at improving patient safety, streamlining complicated processes and reducing medical errors.

The XM66AM and XM60+AM rugged antimicrobial mobile computers are the only handhelds in their category that offer “whole device” antimicrobial coverage. Unlike competitive methodologies, Janam’s antimicrobial products have a continuous protective layer encompassing the scan window, display surface, stylus and screws. The entire unit – not just the plastic housing – is protected by an antimicrobial coating that effectively kills microorganisms.

The XM66AM and XM60+AM are the only fully rugged, antimicrobial, mobile computers that deliver a full 3.5″ display yet weigh less than 10 ounces. They are small and light enough to comfortably carry throughout a work shift, and they provide superior viewability, making them a welcome tool for uses ranging from medication administration to specimen tracking. Like all Janam PDA products, the antimicrobial XM66AM and XM60+AM are built to withstand rigorous use in tough environments, surviving repeated 4’/1.2m drops to concrete and sealed to IP54 standards.

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Tracking Time with Barcodes adds up to Thousands of Dollars, Happy Employees

Posted October 13, 2010

Wasp time and Attendance Bundle

Abandoning the obsolete punch clock
MadgeTech’s data loggers are used around the world to monitor and record an extensive range of variables, from temperature and humidity to water level, voltage and more. The company employs a total of 32.

For years, MadgeTech relied on a mechanical punch clock with cardboard time cards to track the time of its 10 hourly and part-time salaried employees. Unfortunately, this system created problems for the employees punching their time cards, as well as for the managers trying to add up staff hours.

“With the old time clock, the time cards needed to be lined up exactly for the punch,” said Jon Moriarty, director of manufacturing for MadgeTech. “It was far too easy to punch the wrong lines, and it wasn’t all that easy to use the clock properly.”

Since times on the cards were not calculated automatically, the employee in charge of payroll had to spend at least four to five hours a week manually adding up each employee’s time.

Adding at the beep of a barcode
MadgeTech installed WaspTime Standard Barcode Solution, which included time and attendance software, as well as a Wasp barcode-reading time clock. Each employee was issued a credit cardsized card with a barcode printed on the back. Employees clock in and out by simply swiping their cards through the barcode reader. WaspTime software automatically checks the time clock and collects ‘punches,’ accurately tabulating hours worked.

The manager who handles payroll now needs less than one-half hour to review the entire staff’s weekly time. She simply hands the time report to Moriarty on Monday morning for approval, and the process is complete.

Saving thousands and empowering employees
MadgeTech immediately began saving both time and money with WaspTime. First, the employee who handles payroll needs at least four fewer hours per week to perform her duties. This alone translates to more than $3,000 per year in savings, Moriarty said. What’s more, this employee now can spend her time on higher-value tasks in the accounting and human resources areas.

“A small business like ours requires employees to wear multiple hats. Automating the timekeeping process to save a key employee four hours a week translates into true dollar savings for us,” Moriarty said. “This is not imaginary cost savings. These are real hours that now can be applied to more profitable tasks. And in today’s environment, efficiency and productivity are all-important.”

The system also simplifies important time-tracking tasks for employees. For example, part-time salaried employees must work a minimum number of hours each week to maintain benefits. In the past, there was no reliable way to ensure they were fulfilling this requirement. With WaspTime, their hours are tracked automatically, and Moriarty can run a simple report to check their time.

In addition, MadgeTech offers its employees flextime, allowing them to work extra hours on certain days so they can leave early when needed. This policy is popular with employees, who constantly want to know how many hours they have worked in the week. With WaspTime’s included PC Punch module, employees can quickly and easily sign in on a local PC to view their current hours. This saves time for managers and employees alike, since neither must sift through time cards to determine their weekly time.

Because the timekeeping process has been automated, errors have been eliminated on both employees’ and managers’ sides.

“Our employees prefer WaspTime over the old clock,” Moriarty said. “It takes a simple swipe of the card, and it’s impossible to make an error. We definitely would not want to go back to the old time clock. Now, we’re adding two more employees to the system, which will only increase our savings.”

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Accurately Tracking Employee Time Drives Big Cost Savings

Posted October 13, 2010

Wasp time and Attendance BundleA time-tracking nightmare, for employees and management
Afton Manufacturing creates a wide range of metal products for larger companies in the oil field, air hose, exercise and crane block industries. The company’s 14 employees work in overlapping shifts, with some occasionally putting in up to 12 hours a day.

For years, the company used a traditional, mechanical punch clock to track employees’ time. Each worker would punch a paper timecard at the beginning and end of his shift, as well as for his lunch break. Employees also received a company-scheduled 10-minute break each morning and afternoon; however, they were not required to punch their timecards when taking off this small amount of time.

“As time went on, breaks were getting longer and longer. Our employees had a tendency to stretch out breaks sometimes up to 25 or 30 minutes a day, instead of the 20 minutes allocated,” said Gene Schmeling, owner of Afton Manufacturing. “I found myself getting aggravated as I saw more minutes ticking by.”

The manual punch card system also offered little flexibility for employees. For example, a worker putting in a 12-hour shift received the same two 10-minute breaks as his co-worker who was on the clock for just eight hours.

“With the punch clock, we had an accounting nightmare on our hands,” Schmeling said. “We were using a calculator to add up times on the cards. It was time-consuming and easy to make mistakes.”

Embracing the simplicity of RFID
Afton Manufacturing installed WaspTime time and attendance software, as well as a Wasp RFID time clock. Each employee was issued a credit card-sized card with an embedded RFID chip. Now, employees clock in and out by simply waving the card in front of the time clock.

“Since we are a small company, I didn’t think we could afford an automated time-tracking solution,” Schmeling said. “When someone recommended that I check out Wasp, I was surprised at how affordable and functional it was for a company our size.”

WaspTime software automatically checks the time clocks and collects ‘punches,’ accurately tabulating hours worked. This time summary can then be reviewed and edited by Afton Manufacturing’s owner.

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MobileAsset: The Right Prescription for Truxtun Radiology Medical

Posted October 13, 2010

MobileAsset and the WPA206Truxtun Radiology Medical Group (TRMG) offers the very latest in diagnostic radiology services. Founded in 1988 in Bakersfield, California, Truxtun opened its doors with only one radiologist and a total of five employees, yet today it stands as the largest radiology center in the area. Presently, with over 150 employees, four buildings on the main campus, and two remote sites, TRMG serves over 600 patients each day. Key to their success is the state of the art equipment, which allows for speedy and accurate diagnoses, as well as rapid reporting of diagnostic information, making it possible to initiate treatments sooner. In fact, adding to the long list of high quality diagnostic equipment, TRMG recently installed a new 64 slice multi-detector CT system that is unsurpassed in image quality and speed. TRMG is committed to providing not only the best diagnostic radiology services, but also the best in patient care.

The Technical Problem
While the expansion and growth at TRMG enables the company to provide the very latest in diagnostic services, the increase in valuable diagnostic tools and equipment creates added asset tracking demands. Chris Freels, the IT manager, found the traditional spreadsheet method to be not only time consuming but inaccurate. “When dealing with equipment of this nature it is important to have precise data when it comes to location, but even more importantly accurate data on maintenance and repair,” states Freels. The present manual tracking system allows for a huge margin of error resulting in misplaced equipment as well as the possibility of deliberate theft. Moreover, each modality, from the ultrasound units to the x-ray machines, is on a strict schedule for maintenance and repair, and keeping a clipboard history on each unit is time consuming.

Freels’ objective is two fold: to find an automatic asset management system to track basic computer equipment, but more importantly, a method to inventory and monitor the multitude of high-value diagnostic equipment. With time being a critical element in the health care industry, the asset tracking system must offer speed, without sacrificing accuracy, when it comes to providing complete reports on location as well as current maintenance history for each state-of –the art diagnostic unit. Freels began his search for a solution only to find many products were just too difficult to install and customize to the special needs of TRMG. “Implementation was not easy and the data collection process did not allow portability nor compatibility with bar coding that already was on the equipment, states Freels. It was not until he discovered MobileAsset Network that Freels realized there is an easy, cost-effective solution to asset management.

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Honeywell streamlines asset management at WellSpan Health

Posted October 13, 2010

Honeywell Dolphin 9500WellSpan Health is a healthcare system with over 600 beds in two hospitals and 60 locations in southern Pennsylvania and northern Maryland. The company has over 8,000 staff members, including doctors, nurses, and administration, operational and support employees. Both hospitals use Lawson’s Mobile Supply Chain Management (MSCM) application for real-time data entry of medical supply inventory.

In 2007, both Lawson and the previous scanner vendor alerted WellSpan that their hardware and software were nearing the end-of-life, and an upgrade would be necessary. The facility decided to stay with Lawson as their MSCM system, but opened up the possibility of using a different model or vendor for their scanning needs.

The Situation:
Since the Lawson upgrade would take approximately one year, there was some time to adjust and test a new hand-held mobile scanning solution. WellSpan was provided with a sampling of recommended devices that were compatible with Lawson’s software and WellSpan staff were given the opportunity to test the devices in their work environment to identify which worked best for their needs.

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Brigham and Women’s Hospital use Bar Codes to Improve Asset Management

Posted October 13, 2010

Zebra PrintersChallenge: Throughout the U.S., almost one in five medication doses administered in hospitals is given in error, according to a recent Archives of Internal Medicine study. As a pioneer in patient safety, the Boston-based Brigham and Women’s Hospital (BWH) wanted to decrease those odds by creating an automated safeguard for preparing and administering prescription medications. BWH concluded that bar code scanning was the optimal system to improve safety and accuracy at all points. An effective system would require an individual bar code label on all prescription medications, however, only about half of the pharmaceuticals shipped to the hospital were marked with unit-of-use bar codes.

When BWH was planning its systems, the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) was considering a new rule to require unit-of-use bar code pharmaceutical labeling. The hospital didn’t wait for the FDA to require bar code labels on individual medications, and it did not rely on its suppliers to provide them. Instead, the hospital relied on printers from Zebra Technologies to produce individual two-dimensional (2-D) bar code labels for more than 3.5 million pharmaceuticals per year.

Solution: BWH implemented a system using bar code scanning to track and record pharmaceuticals from the time they are processed in the pharmacy until they are administered to the patient. Bar codes are also applied to patient wristbands, employee ID badges, prescription orders and lab samples to facilitate automated tracking and error-free information recording.

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Raising the Bar for Positive Patient Identification

Posted October 13, 2010

Zebra 2844-Z

The Challenge
The concept of ‘positive patient identification’ is much talked-about in the
medical world, and is a fundamental requirement for correct patient care. This phrase covers all types of verification and identification practices which effect patients, hospitals and procedures. Using patient ID wristbands goes a long way to ensure the correct drugs are assigned to the correct patient – as handwritten wristbands can be misread, easily damaged or even lost.

Previously ward nurses would have to hand write all patient wristbands using information from the patients medical history. By eliminating this manual process, the hospital would save time for medical staff, allowing them to focus on other aspects of their jobs.

It was also important that the key patient demographics were taken from the hospital information system to avoid the risk of transcription errors.

Effective barcodes
According to Helena Roddy, Haemovigilance Officer, Portiuncula Hospital:
“We wanted to implement a blood tracking system to assist with compliance to the EU Blood Directive. The first step in this process was to introduce barcoded patient identification wristbands”

“Implementation and support were also key” Roddy continued. ”We needed a solution which required minimal maintenance and expense.”

The hospital chose a Zebra solution of printers and wristbands for use with all its adult patients and installed six LP 2844-Z printers throughout the hospital as well as working with hospital staff to design the wristband. This design was key to its success, and had to contain the patient’s name, date of birth, sex, and hospital number.

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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.

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