Three Technologies Curbing the Prevalence of Healthcare Misidentification

An estimated 1 in every 2,326 blood specimens are inaccurately labeled, translating into a recurrent error risk once every two weeks for a standard-sized hospital.

Specimen and patient misidentification have been age-old issues in healthcare, stemming from a variety of shared issues such as:

  • Overworked medical staff under stressful conditions
  • Manual data entry with illegible handwriting
  • Specimens are labeled far away from the patient
  • Non-verbal patients are unable to vocally confirm identity
  • Similar medical records – instances of patients sharing the same name, surname, and date-of-birth
  • Patients moved from their beds without updating electronic location records

In addition to obvious lethal consequences, misidentification also costs up to $208 per patient in specimen recollection. To mitigate errors, healthcare facilities attempt to implement electronic identification systems, yet successful implementation often hinges on ease-of-use, scalability, and cost. Built with these three factors in mind, Zebra’s healthcare-grade devices offer a streamlined option in curbing misidentification while providing a wide range of devices for solution customization:

  1. Healthcare-grade Consumables – At the foundation of an identification system are dependable printing supplies like Zebra’s certified healthcare grade wristbands and tags. Made to withstand constant exposure to water and chemicals for up to 14 days, Zebra Wristbands remain scannable through challenging conditions, so patients can be identified any place, at any time. Likewise, certified labels are created for maximized legibility, yet their smooth coating also protects printheads, ultimately reducing operational costs and enhancing printer uptime.
  2. Mobile and Portable Healthcare-Grade Printers – When labels are printed far from the patient/specimen, caregivers increase the risk of applying the wrong label to the wrong patient in addition to wasting valuable time traveling between point-of-care and printing stations. Printers like the ZD510 have a very small desktop footprint, allowing them to be placed much closer to the point-of-care. The ZQ600-HC takes this a step farther by equipping staff with fast mobile printing power, enabling instant labeling without time-consuming back-and-forth travel to printer resources. Lastly, for more high-volume printing needs, the ZD620-HC can deliver crisp barcodes that retain legibility. Its cordless feature also allows you to add durable printing power to your mobile carts while reducing ribbon changes by 75% when combined with Zebra’s 300m ribbon.
  3. Healthcare-grade mobile scanners – Once legible labels are printed and applied, your staff must be able to scan and verify identification easily. That’s where devices like Zebra’s DS9900 and DS8100-HC prove essential as they provide scalable scanning power that integrates into your current workflows. Eye-friendly aimers and disinfectant-ready casings make these scanners able to be deployed near patients without compromising quality care. For more streamlined scanning, mobile computers such as the TC52-HC combine intelligent data capture with HIPAA-compliant data sharing and processing, all facilitated through a familiar Android OS interface for maximum ease-of-use.

Healthcare misidentification is cited as one of the top-ten healthcare crises in the 21st century, which is why Derive Technologies is ready to partner with you to secure dependable identification for both patients and specimens. To see how these technologies can work in your facility, CONTACT US for a careful assessment of your current workflows.