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.
"Intially, the new wristbands weren't positively accepted by some patients," said Roddy. "During trials, a number of patient pointed out that their date of birth was too prominent, and could be easily seen by other patients and staff.
Older female patients were particularly sensitive to this, which is understandable. Not everyone wants to promote the year they were born, so it was back to the drawing board for us!" The wristband was subsequently redesigned with the date of birth at the back, so it sat on the inside of the patient's wristband.
The barcode size on the wristband also had to be considered. The original 2D barcode was a PDF417 barcode, The scanners often missed it as it became too big, due to the length of the names. On advice from the local Zebra reseller, it was changed from the PDF417 and made smaller using a 2D Datamatrix code, so it would work more effectively in addition to being futureproofed.