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The New Zebra Z-Band Ultrasoft Wristbands

Posted October 29, 2012

With Zebra’s new patent-pending Z-Band UltraSoft direct thermal adhesive wristband, healthcare providers can take a softer approach to patient identification.

Featuring a soft, flexible polypropylene and vinyl material, Z-Band UltraSoft is the softest direct thermal wristband in the market. Z-Band UltraSoft also offers excellent resistance to most hand sanitizers, supporting patient safety by insuring readable text and scannable barcodes for up to 14 days. Z-Band UltraSoft is being positioned as Zebra’s premium adhesive-closure wristband.

Z-Band UltraSoft is available in a cartridge for the HC100 printer in several size. For more details on the new Z-Band UltraSoft, contact us at BarcodesInc.


New Thermal Printers From Wasp – WPL25 and WHC25

Posted June 27, 2012

WPL25 Desktop Barcode Printer and the WHC25 Desktop Wristband Printer Provide the Latest in Quick and Durable Labeling

Wasp Barcode Technologies has announced the launch of the WPL25 Desktop Barcode Printer and the WHC25 Desktop Wristband Printer. Designed specifically for speed and durability, both products use direct thermal technology to provide accurate images and barcodes of the highest quality. The thermal printing technology used in both printers uses heat as opposed to ink, making the printed label or wristband smudge proof and durable.

Wasp’s WPL25 Desktop Barcode Printer features a high-quality clamshell design thatmakes the WPL25 ideal for printing high performance labels for healthcare, retail, shipping, and office environments. The WPL25 barcode printer uses a 200 MHz processor that prints labels at speeds up to 5 inches per second at 203 dpi print resolution. For easy integration into various business environments, the Wasp WPL25 comes standard with USB and serial interfaces. The WPL25 also comes with optional peeler, cutter, and stand-alone keyboard making it easy to create an all-in-one barcoding and scanning solution.

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Medical Wristbands

Posted March 27, 2012

Industry Need

Effective patient care is predicated on accuracy, but human error is exceptionally difficult to eliminate in the inherently high-touch medical environment. To address this, barcodes and automatic ID technologies are being used increasingly across a wide range of medical practices. Patient wristbands are one common application area. Intermec patient wristbands ensure positive identification for integration with verification systems for medication, samples, and surgical procedures.

The five rights of medication safety (right patient, right drug, right time, right dose, right route) provide an important framework for verification of pharmaceutical administration, but commonly rely on manual human checks. Integration of positive patient ID with barcode wristbands provides a highly reliable adjunct to eliminate human error. With increasing implementation of patient electronic medical record (EMR), scanning the wristband can trigger caregiver notification of allergies or other special requirements.

The Joint Commission on Accreditation of Healthcare Organizations (JCAHO) has made improving the accuracy of patient identification a high priority, and it remains the number one goal in the pre-release version of the 2010 National Patient Safety Goals (NPSGs) for hospitals. Recognizing the accuracy enhancements of auto ID technologies, bar code verification is specifically cited as an acceptable alternative to resourceintensive two-person verification required for administration of blood products.

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Key Considerations for Bar Coded Infant Wristbands

Posted March 23, 2012

Make the Switch from Vinyl with Confidence

Medical centers worldwide are switching to bar coded wristbands to improve the safety and quality of care while meeting industry mandates. However, nurses in maternity wards are concerned that the switch from vinyl to new materials may not be suitable for infants. Tried and tested for decades, vinyl is non-abrasive, hypoallergenic, and does not damage the delicate skin of babies and premature infants. In fact, infants are the hardest patients to create wristbands for, and few adequate solutions exist that support this need.

Fortunately, bar coded wristband solutions now offer soft nylon material that is perfect for the delicate skin of a tiny infant. Even with the right material, the information provided on the wristband must afford easy readability, and deliver the right information in the right way. Due to the small size of an infant’s wrist, little room exists on the wristband to contain all the information required for effective bar coding.

The purpose of this white paper is to provide maternity ward staff the information they need to make the right decisions when it comes to bar coded infant wristbands. Durable, supple wristbands that deliver the full benefits of bar coding make it easier for nurses to perform infant care tasks, and help eliminate workarounds. The result is improved efficiency and quality of care. Medical staff is more productive, there are fewer chances for errors, and nurses can provide more focused attention to infants in their care.

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Maximizing the Image Life of Direct Thermal Receipts and Wristbands

Posted March 22, 2012

Direct thermal printing dates back to the 1960s and was originally designed for copiers and fax machines that utilize chemically coated paper. It has since been transformed into a highly successful print technology for bar coding.

Direct thermal media is essentially a self-contained printing system. It is manufactured by applying surface coatings to the media with a chemical formula that includes colorless dyes and developers. When the media goes through a thermal printer, heat (thermal energy) from the thermal printhead causes the dye and developer to activate and form a high-definition image. The thermal printhead consists of many heating elements distributed along its printing width. Each element is electronically controlled to deliver the correct amount of energy to an exact location for an exact amount of time. Those individual elements are strobed by the printer to form the final image—text, graphics, and bar codes. Fully saturating or imaging direct thermal chemistry is key to obtaining the most durable direct thermal image. Producing a less than fully saturated image will reduce the image life when exposed to various contaminants or environmental conditions.

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Thibodaux Regional Medical Center Enforces Bedside Medication Verification with Wristband Solution

Posted March 21, 2012

Durable, Flexible Bands Prevent Workarounds and Contribute to High Scan Rates

About Thibodaux Regional Medical Center

In Thibodaux, La., Thibodaux Regional Medical Center, a 185-bed acute care facility, provides inpatient and outpatient care for the people of Lafourche and seven surrounding parishes. For the third consecutive year, J.D. Power and Associates recognized the center for service excellence under the Distinguished Hospital Program, acknowledging Thibodaux Regional’s strong commitment to provide “An Outstanding Patient Experience” for inpatient and outpatient services.

Challenge

To achieve and maintain its award-winning reputation, Thibodaux has progressed on several key initiatives in recent years. The medical center has increasingly moved toward a more paperless environment and brought in bedside medication verification (BMV).

With those strides, the hospital knew it needed to upgrade its approach to patient wristbands as well. Paper labels created paper waste, and didn’t hold up well in the hospital environment.

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Wristband Formatting Best Practices

Posted March 19, 2012

Key Considerations for Improving Patient Care

Bar coded patient wristbands are an excellent way for medical centers to improve the safety and quality of care while meeting industry mandates. To gain the most benefit, the information provided on the wristband must afford easy readability, and deliver the right information in the right way. Healthcare personnel who are starting to look at a patient ID solution need to know the key considerations of patient wristbands from a formatting perspective. This is especially crucial during the first 30 days of looking at a patient ID solution.

Like any technology or process, following proven best practices helps ensure a smooth transition to deployment and beyond. The purpose of this white paper is to help healthcare IT staff launch the right wristband system with the right format. Proper wristband formatting makes it easier for nurses and clinicians to perform patient care tasks so that there is no need for workarounds. The result is improved efficiency and quality of care—medical staff is more productive, there are fewer chances for errors, and nurses can provide more focused attention to their patients.
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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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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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Patient Wristbanding: The Advantages of Thermal over Laser Solutions

Posted June 10, 2010

Executive Summary

Bar code systems help hospitals deliver accurate information in a variety of patient care and clinical settings, making them an important component in improving patient safety and process efficiencies. Therefore, these systems should be developed and executed with care, using dedicated printers that are optimized to provide reliable, accurate bar code output.

When hospitals evaluate their patient wristbanding solution, they often consider modifying existing laser printing systems to do the job. While many laser printers are capable of outputting bar codes, dedicated thermal printers are a more reliable, efficient and cost-effective option.

This white paper will explain the differences in thermal versus laser printing for patient wristbanding in hospitals and will provide an overview of the four reasons thermal printing is a better solution, including:

  • Enhanced Patient Safety

  • Lower Total Cost of Ownership

  • Patient Comfort

  • Ease of Use

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