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Raising the bar for positive patient identification

Posted December 4, 2009

Zebra 2844-ZThe 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 hand- written 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 2844Z 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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Discontinuance of Ethernet for Zebra 2824 Series Label Printers

Posted November 19, 2009

Zebra 2824 PlusZebra has announced the discontinuance of the ZebraNet® PrintServer II internal Ethernet option for 2824 series 2-inch desktop label printers.

The Zebra 2824 Plus™ with internal 10/100 Ethernet will directly replace the internal ZebraNet PrintServer II on the 2824 2-inch desktop printers. The 2824 Plus printers incorporate better Ethernet technology at a lower price point than the 10base-T legacy printers.

Contact us for options on purchasing our replacing your barcode printer

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Processing return shipments more smoothly and more quickly

Posted November 16, 2009

Zebra Z4M PlusOtto ranks as the world’s largest mail order company and offers its products by way of two main catalogs it publishes each year, but also through numerous seasonal and special interest catalogs and via electronic media.

Otto’s core business is catalog selling. Therefore, access to a robust Warehouse Management System that allows the company to process return shipments effectively is of great strategic importance. Within this context bar code printing is of particular importance. For example, identification of an article that has been returned takes place solely using bar codes. This means that the printing quality of the bar codes is of the highest importance in identifying items that have been returned and managing all of the other related processes.

In 2001, Otto implemented a new and more efficient system for managing stock and returns. Wolf Hartmann is department head of the returns day shift at Otto in Hamburg. He decided to implement bar code printers from Zebra Technologies in Obertshausen, Germany. This brand of printers has been used successfully by Otto for many years and has proven to be extremely reliable. In addition, Otto was convinced that ZebraLink, the innovative method of connecting and controlling printers, could be of great value to their company.

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Queues disappear with wireless printing solution

Posted November 12, 2009

Zebra RW 420 Portable PrinterByggmax sells building materials and has premises at 27 locations in Sweden. The product range consists of base products needed for construction work e.g. timber, insulation materials, plaster and cement. They have a drive-in service, which means that the customers drive their cars into the premises and load the goods they require from the yard and the storage area, themselves. Byggmax staff register the goods in the cars, whereupon the customers are given a sales order to take to the checkout. It used to take longer, as the sales staff wrote down all items by hand on the sales order and made all calculations on a pocket calculator. At the checkout the items on the paperwork were registered together with those the customer wished to purchase from within the store. There were often problems with queues forming, when the checkout staff needed to enter all the items on the hand-written slip.

After a six month trial period of the new system, it has been installed in all stores. The sales staff at Byggmax are equipped with handheld computers and mobile printers from Zebra Technologies. The handheld computers always have an up-to-date item register and communicate wirelessly both with the checkout environment and with the mobile printers. The sales order is printed out for the customer within one or two seconds of the goods being keyed in. There is a bar code on the slip referring to the customer (usually the registration number of the car). The checkout staff only need to scan the bar code in order to take payment for the goods, which the customer has loaded into the car. If a customer leaves the premises without having paid, the registration number can be used to contact the customer.

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Zebra ZXP Series 8 Retransfer Card Printer Now Available

Posted November 11, 2009

Zebra ZXP printerNew Retransfer Card Printer—Superior, Photo-Like Images and Fastest Output

With Zebra’s new, high-innovation ZXP Series 8™ retransfer card printer, now create on-demand plastic identification cards with superior image quality that meets your brand expectations and quality requirements. And do it with best-in-class throughput—up to two to three times faster than competitors’ brands thanks to Zebra’s patent-pending simultaneous dual-sided image transfer process—for increased efficiency in your operations.

What’s more, our new ZMotif™ XML-based software includes management tools to simplify and speed printer integration and custom project implementation. And the printer’s modular design, with a range of add-now-or-later encoding options, matches the printer to your market, application and future needs.

Print on one or both sides, even on smart cards and other uneven card surfaces, with this best-in-class retransfer card printer.

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Pricing Accuracy Through Wireless Portable Printing

Posted November 11, 2009

Zebra Mobile PrintersChallenge
One of America’s largest retailers faces a daily challenge of maintaining accurate pricing of all merchandise across its entire chain of stores.

Further complicating the task is that the prices of more than 1000 products change every week, and up to five percent of the company’s inventory changes in any given month. As recently as the early 1990s, these changes were sent via fax or e-mail and were printed out by store managers at each location. A night shift was required to print out appropriate shelf labels, canvass the store to put these labels on corresponding shelves, and manually update pricing information in the store’s main computer for the check-out terminals. For the average store, these tasks required 20 employees to work six hours after the store closed.

“Every week we’d forfeit nearly 20 percent of our profits from each promotion through the cost of setting up for the sale,” recalled the chain’s operations manager. “Even after spending all of this time and money, human error was nearly out of control. The price of merchandise on the shelf frequently didn’t match the price at checkout. Our customers were frustrated, which was compromising customer loyalty and company reputation.”

Solution
To correct these problems, the retail chain adopted a corporate-wide pricing network with frame-relay host-to-store communication; a wireless, 2.4 GHz frequency-hopping LAN in every store, and network addressable Zebra® portable mobile printers to move the operation onto the floor.

Today, the company uses a team of price checkers to update prices and ensure that shelf labels match checkout counter prices. Each price checker is armed with a small handheld terminal capable of scanning existing shelf labels and a Zebra portable mobile printer that wirelessly connects both devices to the store’s network.

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Purchase Goods Anywhere: A Checkout Counter on the Move

Posted November 10, 2009

Zebra Cameo 3 Portable PrinterChallenge
During the holiday season, long checkout lines mean angry customers, decreased customer loyalty and lost sales. To keep customers in the holiday spirit, one of the nation’s largest discount chains tested a mobile checkout system to eliminate check-out lines, even during the busiest shopping days of the year.

“Even with all of our check-out counters open and our associates working as fast as possible, we still lost dozens of sales each day because people were scared away by the long lines during the holiday season,” commented one store manager. “We had to find a way to add check-out lines during our busiest time. Temporary mobile checkout was the only answer.”

Solution
For the store’s mobile checkout needs, the company turned to Zebra printers—the same brand of printer it relies on to label goods in its critical shipping and receiving operations. “We had used Zebra printers in a variety of logistics applications and they always worked flawlessly,” noted the company’s retail systems manager. “As a very public operation, our check-out operations system had to be fail-proof. Once we realized that Zebra offered a perfect retail solution, we never considered another vendor.”

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Bar Codes Help Celera Map Human Genome

Posted November 2, 2009

From Sampling to Sequencing, Bar Coding Helped Celera Discover First

For some companies, asset tracking is simply a way to save money by using bar code
labels
to keep tabs on computers and other company equipment. But for Celera Genomics of Rockville, MD, using bar code labels to keep track of DNA samples and test results is an absolute necessity. Celera, the first company to sequence and map the human genome (the genetic blueprint of humanity), was managing procedures, critical machinery, raw materials, and data long before their scientific breakthrough.

“From the onset of our mission to genetically define ‘human,’ we realized that keeping tabs every step of the way was a must to ensure our results and validate our findings,” says Celera Genomics’ director of quality systems, Peter Amanatides. “Coming from a logistical background, I was familiar with the benefits of bar code printing and scanning. We decided to implement the technology here to drive our sequencing process and structure the procedures around it.”

Celera’s first challenge was to find a label that would withstand the unusual conditions of a gene-sequencing lab. The labels needed to be water- and chemical-resistant, heat- and cold-tolerant, and maintain visual and scanning readability while staying affixed to the plates and equipment.

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Distributor Improves Bar Code Scannability, Reduces Non-Compliance Fees

Posted October 30, 2009

Challenge
Compliance chargeback fees due to unscannable shipping labels.

Solution
Dedicated printers provide maximum readability for error-free scanning.

Results
Productivity has increased by 20% and label accuracy is 99.9% or better.

Products
High-performance Xi Series printers for their reliability and mission-critical performance.

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Bar Code Labels Provide Inventory Accuracy Improvement To Cosmetics Manufacturer

Posted October 29, 2009

ZebraChallenge
Bergen Brunswig, based in Orange, California, is the third-largest wholesale distributor of pharmaceutical and medical supplies in the United States. The distributor needed shipping software that could fit the needs of its new direct-to-consumer fulfillment service to various on-line drug stores, run on the company’s AS/400, and be easily integrated with its primary distribution system, ASW by IBS. The company also needed to integrate electronic scales and bar code printers to allow for package labeling and tracking.

Solution
Bergen Brunswig met its Internet Fulfillment Center’s shipping system requirements through software, produced and installed by an IBM Business Partner. The software integrates seamlessly with the IBS system, electronic scales, and thermal, on-demand barcode printers from Zebra Technologies.

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