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Printing Solutions Improves Patient Security and Efficiency

Posted October 13, 2010

Zebra TLP 2844 PrinterThe Challenge
Patient security is a key medical sector challenge. It includes verifying and identifying everything that can affect a patient during their hospital stay. Good patient security guarantees that the right patient gets the correct diagnosis and treatment. Having an integrated system for marking, identifying and tracking blood tests is a significant step towards being able to guarantee that patients receive their relevant test results. This in turn leads to appropriate treatment at the correct dose.

Previously, when Karolinska doctors sent blood, plasma or tissue to the laboratory, this was a manual process. Laboratory orders labels were printed from a regular laser printer. A whole sheet of labels was needed just to print a single label. This was an unnecessary waste of resources. Additionally the printed labels were not logged into the hospital’s journal system. This resulted in mistakes.

More efficient handling of laboratory tests
Karolinska needed to improve their handling of tests sent to laboratories. Back in 2003, Karolinska Sjukhuset in Solna went from using regular laser printers for blood test labelling, to using Zebra® desktop printers. The system was gradually expanded and now covers all of Karolinska Universitetssjukhuset. A cost effective and safe solution was needed. The Zebra® TLP 2844 desktop printer was chosen as ideal for printing test tube labels, emergency room ID tags and patient records. Today Karolinksa deploys more than 2000 TLP 2844 desktop printers!

A journal system called TakeCare enables Karolinska hospital personnel to follow up on a patient’s health care history, from anywhere in the hospital that it’s held. This greatly reduces the risk for providing the wrong treatment due to incomplete information. Zebra® printers are used for labelling orders for blood, plasma and tissue tests to be sent for analysis. They are also used for patient labels and ID-bands for acute cases. When a doctor orders a blood, plasma or tissue test, he enters the order into the TakeCare system, which in turn generates a barcode and a LID (laboratory identity) number.

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Patient ID wristbands dramatically improve patient safety

Posted October 13, 2010

Zebra LP 2824-Z Printer

The Challenge
The National Healthcare Center 10 in Florence is dedicated to safeguarding patients during their treatment at any of its facilities. As a result the Florence authority, together with seven other healthcare centers in Tuscany (Careggi, Empoli, Grosseto and Siena) organized a patient identification campaign which was fully supported by the Regional Center for Clinical Risk Management.

The Regional Center for Clinical Risk Management is responsible for identifying key health service areas that need improving. 2.6% of laboratory errors stem from incorrect patient identification, while 67% of blood transfusion errors are linked to the use of the wrong blood components. Key factors in accident and emergency (A&E) medicine are: unique patient characteristics (e.g. foreign patients with complicated names), time dependent medical procedures, a change of hospital staff during patients’ treatments and the completion of multiple cases during the same surgery session.

Key to all these errors was the inability to correctly identify the treatment. Therefore it was necessary to build and implement a technology solution that could guarantee correct patient identification as well as improve communication between medical staff.

The Solution
Run by Zebra, the project’s first phase focused on clarifying the best instruments for optimizing patient identification. A survey was carried out to identify benefits and challanges to a range of solutions used in other hospitals including: the Gemelli Hospital in Rome, the Niguarda Hospital in Milan and the Manzoni Hospital in Lecco.

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Wireless curbside check-in at Opryland Hotel

Posted October 13, 2010

Zebra Cameo PrintersChallenge
Find an integrated solution that would allow us to have Web reservations and roving registration points, both for check-in and check-out.

Solution
Implement a Wireless solution that allows hotel agents to check-in and check-out guests, process credit cards, print receipts and program room keys anywhere in, or nearby, the hotel.

Product
Zebra Cameo PEP (Portable Encoding Printer)

Opryland Hotel Nashville, part of the Gaylord Entertainment Company, is the largest hotel convention center under one roof in the world with 2,883 guestrooms, 600,000 square feet of convention space, nine acres of indoor gardens, a quarter-mile indoor river, retail shops and restaurants. Over four million guests stay in the hotel annually.

Opryland, always actively searching for better ways to manage these high volumes of guests, has implemented a LANSA based Wireless solution that allows hotel agents to check-in and check-out guests, process credit cards, print receipts and program room keys at the curbside or anywhere else in or nearby the hotel.

The solution, LMS Wireless Express from LANSA solution partner Inter-American Data (IAD), has reduced queues at the reception desk and allows guests to check-in and check-out closer to where their room is.

Tom Xavier, director of front office operations, says, “Bringing together all the components of checking-in is essential to the success of this system. We are providing our guests with a fast, accurate, no-hassle service. Moving the front-desk functions to anywhere in the hotel is the key here.”

Challenge
John Eslick, Director of Strategic Systems Development Opryland, explains why Opryland felt a need to decentralize check-in procedures, “There were two main issues that prompted us to think about mobile check-in points. Firstly, when you normally think of a 3,000-room property you think of towers. We have only five floors and our rooms and facilities are spread out over a square mile.”

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The Bargain! Shop Updates Product Pricing in Seconds with In-Aisle Printing

Posted October 13, 2010

Zebra QL 320 Printer

About The Bargain! Shop
The Bargain! Shop (TB!S) is a rapidly expanding, Canadian-owned retail chain with over 250 stores, located mainly in smaller communities and neighborhoods across the country. It carries a wide range of brand-name quality products for the home and family: electronics, housewares, gift items, home textiles, food and snacks, health and beauty, cleaning items, as well as clothing and footwear for the whole family. TB!S’ pricing policy is simple: It guarantees the lowest prices, everyday.

Challenge
Savvy shoppers do their homework. They’re looking for the best value—quality products for the lowest prices. TB!S consistently meets those customer demands by offering brand-name products at the guaranteed lowest prices. Those in small communities and neighborhoods across Canada go there for the best deals on everything from toasters to cameras to children’s clothing.

That means TB!S must constantly evaluate and change pricing in order to remain competitive. The store stocks about 60 percent of its inventory with items that shoppers can buy from week to week. New, rotating items comprise the remaining items—made available as TB!S finds deals and passes them on to customers.

With thousands of SKUs, changing frequently, TB!S needed a flexible pricing strategy. Previously, store clerks consulted the service desk for prices, and then selected from pre-printed shelf labels. Those labels only included a price without a product description, which often confused customers about which items corresponded with which shelf prices.

When TB!S executive Clinton Wolff, VP & CFO with responsibility for IT, worked in a store for a day, he saw firsthand the inefficiency of the approach. “Customers had to ask about prices, clerks made more trips to the service desk to verify pricing, and checking inventory took longer than necessary,” Wolff said.

Solution
Tied closely with the company’s point-of-sale and merchandise management system, the system is currently in use in all stores. It includes a wireless access point, Motorola® MC3090 series mobile terminals and Zebra® QL 320 wireless mobile printers. The main criteria for a printer were ease of use, portability and durability.

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Sisters of Mercy Health System Streamlines Supply Chain Operations and Reduces Medication Errors with Zebra

Posted October 13, 2010

Zebra Z4M

Challenge
Like other healthcare organizations, Sisters of Mercy Health System (Mercy) was concerned by the results of the 1999 study published by the Institute of Medicine, “To Err is Human,” which cited medication errors as the eighth leading cause of death in the United States. Administrators at St. Louis-based Mercy, the ninth largest not-for-profit healthcare system in the nation, suspected that any medication errors its hospitals experienced were less attributable to human error and instead more likely the result of inadequate internal processes.

Mercy decided to take a leadership role in reducing medication errors within its facilities. “We needed a way to help ensure that the right patient receives the right medication in the right dose at the right time,” says Curtis Dudley, executive director of optimization management for Resource Optimization & Innovation (ROi), Mercy’s supply chain operating division. “We believed most medication errors could be avoided by centralizing supply chain operations and implementing technology-based solutions such as bar coding.”

In response, representatives from a number of functional areas within Mercy, including nursing, the pharmacy, supply chain operations and IT, put their heads together to develop a more effective way to track medications throughout the supply chain-from the warehouse to the hospital pharmacy, nursing floors and, eventually, the patient.

Additionally, because pharmacists had to spend so much of their time checking that the correct medications were pulled from the pharmacy shelf, they had limited time to interact with physicians and patients. Mercy hoped that standardizing the pharmaceutical shipment process would enable its pharmacists to spend more time utilizing their expertise for patient care and less time on administrative tasks.

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Zebra Printer iPhone App Available Soon

Posted October 7, 2010

The ZebraLink Smartphone Utility for iPhone®, iPad™ and iPod touch® devices will soon be available for download to your iOS device from the Apple App Store!

Features include

  • Print a PDF or label template directly to a Zebra printer
  • Retrieve and print files from the Web
  • Take and print photos
  • Connect to a printer’s Web page
  • Check printer status
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Zebra and Socket Collaborate to Provide Mobile Printing Solutions for Handheld Computers in Hospitality Industry

Posted August 18, 2010

Zebra EM 220Socket Mobile announced a collaboration with Zebra to provide a complete handheld computing and mobile printing solution to the hospitality industry. Zebra is the most recent partner in the Socket Third-Party Accessory Recommendation (STAR) Program.

“Our partnership with Zebra makes it easy for our SoMo® 650 handheld computer customers to find and purchase pre-tested, compatible mobile printing solutions for use with their customer-facing applications,” said Dave Bledsoe, Sr. product manager of handheld computing products, Socket Mobile. “These [mobile] Bluetooth printers are most ideal for use in the hospitality industry where quick, simple receipts can be printed on-the-spot, and because they’re wearable, lightweight and compact, they’re perfect for use during an entire shift without interfering with the user’s tasks.”

“We’re thrilled to partner with Socket to bring a compact mobile computing solution to the market,” said Luis Rosales, Sr. marketing manager, Zebra Technologies. “The Zebra-Socket solution offers a tested solution that meets the unique needs of the hospitality segment.”

The following Zebra printers have been tested and approved for compatibility with the Socket SoMo 650 handheld computer: the MZ 220 and the EM 220.

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Zebra RXi4 RFID Printer/Encoder for Advanced Item-Level Tagging

Posted August 11, 2010

Zebra 110xi4New RFID printing/encoding technology responds to market demand for a rugged high performance printer that reduces media costs, creates efficiencies

Zebra announced its first high performance RFID printer/encoder designed to address the growing RFID market for high-volume item-level tagging. The R110Xi4 streamlines business improvement and supply-chain management applications such as item-level tracking, asset tracking, inventory management and more across retail, manufacturing, healthcare and distribution channels.

“Zebra is responding to an overall RFID market shift from compliance-based tracking to more item-level tracking with the high performance RXi4,” said Carolyn Ricci, product manager, Zebra Technologies. “The RXi4’s new RFID printer/encoder brings innovation, functionality, and cost benefits to an industry that hasn’t seen technology like this rise up to meet the demand head on — making it a smart investment for organizations with high-volume, mission critical or specialty labeling applications.”

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Bar Code Labels Stand the Test of Time on Signs

Posted August 5, 2010

Zebra Z Series PrinterChallenge
There are approximately 18,000 road signs to guide drivers through Kitsap County,Wash., which covers 396 scenic square miles on the Puget Sound. To properly track and maintain each one of those signs, Kitsap County had to manually enter sign inventory data and maintenance records into a database—an extremely time consuming and error-prone task. “The staff were spending an hour or more per day in the shop looking up information and transcribing what they had done in the field onto an electronic spreadsheet,” said Jeff Shea, a Kitsap County traffic engineer. “Weekly checks indicated that numbers were being transposed and sign information was getting incorrectly documented. With some 18,000 signs, it was imperative that we got a handle on correctly identifying the correct sign with the correct action.”

Shea wanted to find a less labor intensive way of recording information in the field and entering it into the computer system. Unaware of any existing automated sign management applications, Shea faced the challenges of finding appropriate application software, sourcing durable mobile computers that could operate in harsh weather conditions, and determining a way to permanently identify signs. To top it off, the solution also had to be easy to use and affordable.

Solution
They decided on SignTrack, and a durable labeling solution from Zebra Technologies that operates on easy-to-use Phaser mobile bar code scanning terminals from Symbol Technologies. This solution would lead Kitsap to become what is believed to be the first county road department in the nation to use handheld terminals and bar codes to manage road signs.

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Continuous Improvement Key to Chain of Custody Evidence Excellence

Posted August 5, 2010

Zebra 2746eSince 1960, Long Island’s Suffolk County Police Department has racked up awards and gained national recognition, thanks to its high-tech evidence tracking system and keen focus on its continuous improvement. Ever since the tracking system was instituted in 1960—after the five western towns of Suffolk County, New York, decided to merge their police departments into one unit – it has been a source of pride for the Suffolk County Police Department.

Located on Long Island, about 70 miles east of Manhattan, the Suffolk County Police Department has jurisdiction over 560 square miles, protects 1.4 million residents, and collects between 70,000 and 75,000 pieces of evidence annually.

“In 43 years, we’ve never lost a piece of evidence,” said officer Michael Beam, the firearms and narcotics control officer who works in the Property Section.

Because of its sterling reputation, the Suffolk County Property Section has earned numerous awards and national recognition. It has been featured on Discovery Channel’s “Curators of Crime” program, and is used as an example in seminars conducted by the International Association for Property and Evidence. Officials from more than 30 law enforcement agencies have visited Suffolk County to learn about how to improve their own evidence management procedures.

Challenge:
Although considered one of the nation’s best, the Suffolk County Police Department has made improving procedures for identifying, managing, and accessing the vast amount of evidence within its system a continuous process.

In 1988, the county became the first in the nation to implement the ACE computerized evidence management system. Processes were further automated in the 1990s when a thermal label printer was added to the system to automatically create evidence labels and eliminate the need for manual labeling.

In late 2002, the Property Section began tracking evidence with bar codes for the first time. As part of the transition, the department began an upgrade from its original ACE DOS-based evidence tracking software from Software Techniques to a newer, Windows-based version called WinACE, which supports bar code data entry.

When police officers collect evidence at the scene of a crime, they bring it back to their respective precincts, where it is signed in and locked up. Lost or stolen property recovered by officers is also submitted to the precincts.

Each day, the assigned officers of the department’s Property Section collect these items from the precincts and bring them to a 30,000-square-foot warehouse. More than 220,000 items are stored in the warehouse where they remain untouched until they are released, destroyed, or requested by a police officer or the district attorney’s office. (The oldest invoice of evidence in the warehouse is from an unsolved 1931 murder.)

Every box, every envelope, every item—from a tiny piece of glass to an item as large as a boat—must be labeled before being stored in the warehouse. Eleven civilian Evidence Control clerks and five police officers have the responsibility of recording evidence into the system, then maintaining records and safeguarding the evidence until it is needed.

Solution:
Items were labeled with a dot matrix printer until 1995, when the department installed its first thermal label printer, an Eltron QB440 (Eltron International merged with Zebra Technologies in 1998). The lone printer performed flawlessly, producing more than 70,000 labels annually, but the department decided to purchase a new unit as part of its system upgrade.

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