Pacific ID, a barcode solutions company, implemented a new patient ID scanning solution at the hospital that included scanners from Code Corp. and Zebra® HC100™ printers.
The Zebra HC100™ Patient I.D. Solution combines a direct thermal printer with easy-to-load cartridges containing Zebra's durable Z-Band® wristbands. Nurses simply insert cartridges into the printer to produce wristbands with barcodes and text that stay readable long after paper bands would degrade.
Prior to implementation, nurses tried the new process and wristbands, wearing them for a week. "After a week, we were still able to scan the wristband," said Suzanne Catalfomo, pharmacy informatic specialist, Northwest Healthcare.
"It was one of the easiest implementations that I've ever done with nurses," Mulberger said. "There's always something wrong that the nurses will find, but they didn't find anything wrong with this process."
The new solution improved KRMC's process at multiple points. The small footprint of the HC100 printers means they fit compactly at nurses' stations, in admissions and registration, inspiring staff to call them "little toasters." It's easy to drop a new cartridge in the top when one runs out.
To print, staff click on the patient's name on the computer, print out the band, and put it on the patient. The Zebra printers detect wristband size—adult, pediatric or infant—and automatically calibrate settings for optimal print quality.
At the critical point of medication administration, nurses have a computer and scanner in the patient's room. Nurses ask patients first to verify their names, and then dates of birth as a secondary identifier. The patient's record comes up on the computer and the nurse scans the wristband to ensure the two match. If so, the nurse scans the medication to ensure the right time, right route and right dose, and the nurse is alerted to anything that doesn't match.
For labor and delivery, KRMC now automatically prints two non-barcode bands for the mother and two barcode bands that link the baby to that mother.
"It's accurate, easily apply-able to the baby, and if we need to cut off a band, they can be easily reprinted accurately. We don't have to come up with an entirely new four-part banding system for mom and baby, which has been great," said Linda Cavigli, obstetrics computer operations.