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Mobile Devices Help Eliminate Specimen Collection Errors

Mobile Devices Help Eliminate Specimen Collection Errors

The mislabeling of specimen collections can have deadly consequences. Unfortunately, there is no shortage of evidence that mislabeling occurs far too often in healthcare environments. 

 A College of American Pathologists study found 55 percent of identification errors occur because of specimen labeling errors. In fact, mislabeling was the most common error—occurring more than twice as often as the second-most common cause of identification errors.

 In addition to misidentification, labeling errors cause serious issues for patients and healthcare organizations because medical decisions about treatments, procedures, and medications hinge on laboratory results.

 To ensure results are correct, healthcare facilities must have accurate labeling processes and systems set up as soon as specimens are collected.

 One solution that can prevent mislabeled solutions is bedside labeling. As time and distance from the site of collection increases, there is a greater chance for error and an increased possibility that a label will be placed on the wrong sample.

 Bedside labeling is easy to correct and implement by adding solutions like t Zebra Technologies TC51-HC and TC52-HC mobile computers, and the ZQ610 mobile printer. 

 With Zebra's mobile devices and printers, healthcare workers can perform a three-point check: specimen order, patient wristband, and labeled container.

 Mobile computers make it easy to scan the patient wristband at the bedside, confirming the identification of the right patient and exactly what tests need to be done. Once the sample is collected, the mobile printer will print out a label. The data from the label is then recorded by a mobile computer scan. The clinician will also scan his or her ID badge to confirm the sample is collected. 

 This process creates a situation for maximum accuracy, so it is virtually error-free. The Positive Patient Identification process has multiple checks and balances to ensure the patient receives the right type of sample collection and the specimen is appropriately labeled. 

 The process has improved results in many hospitals. The Valley Hospital in Ridgewood, N.J., was able to reduce 44 of 63 steps in its phlebotomy collection process where errors could occur. After six months, the hospital reported it had zero misidentified patients and specimens, zero incorrect specimen containers, and zero unnecessary phlebotomies after six months and 8,000 phlebotomies.

Getting Greater Mobility

Zebra’s mobile computers and printers can help healthcare staff in other ways. The TC51-HC or TC52-HC allow healthcare workers to be far more mobile on the job. They can carry one device instead of having to carry multiple devices around during a shift. The device allows clinical collaboration and data capture opportunities, along with mobile alarms and alerts to keep on top of what’s going on in the unit. 

 Workers can make clear voice calls and conduct secure text messaging over the devices. When they need to update another staff member, they can send high-resolution photos or take videos. 

 The ZQ610 printer features superior battery management and a fast wireless connection to keep staff on the floor, helping patients longer. 

 The mobile phones are also ready to withstand frequent cleanings. On the TC52-HC, screw holes are covered and the number of crevices has been minimized to eliminate spots where germs can hide. The device is made from advanced medical grade plastics to withstand disinfectants, cleanings, and provide toughness. 

 Mobile computers and printers can help hospitals and other healthcare facilities provide accurate and reliable collection procedures for specimens. ACS MediHealth can help you find the right solutions to promote patient safety in your healthcare facility. Give us a call today at (800) 488-3304 or email our specialists at info@acs-ebiz.com.

David Dean