Magazine Article | August 1, 2004

Bar Code Printers Improve Record Keeping At Medical Center

Source: Business Solutions Magazine
Business Solutions, August 2004

St. Alexius Medical Center (Hoffman Estates, IL) recently replaced its legacy printers with 34 Datamax Corp. (Orlando, FL) I-4208 thermal transfer printers. Mid-America Bar Code Inc. (Hanover Park, IL), a Datamax reseller, installed the Datamax I-4208 for use during the entire admissions process. The new printers help the hospital provide more efficient emergency room service.

Help Clients Adhere To Government Regulations
Every patient who enters the medical center is identified through a bar code label placed on a wristband. Emergency room patients, outpatients visiting for day surgery, or patients entering for blood testing are all required to have a bar-coded wristband for every level of care. Information included in the bar-coded band includes a patient ID number, medical record number, and physician name. "This allows for accuracy in tracking patients and compliance with regulations for patient safety and accountability," says Chris Wilder, information resources PC technical coordinator for St. Alexius Medical Center.

The printer also is used to label blood collection specimens sent to the lab. Once in the lab, additional labels are generated for tracking specimens through multiple types of testing. Bar code labels also are being used to identify pharmaceutical medicine when it is repackaged from bulk quantities to single-dose quantities.

The pharmacy department had been using legacy printers that could not provide a quality bar code. With the new bar code labels, hospital staff can now scan pharmaceutical products at the point of care, which will result in more accurate billing of patients.

By using the bar code printer, St. Alexius Medical Center is able to meet government regulations, reduce media costs, and track patients and supplies more efficiently. As part of an expansion and renovation of its emergency room, the medical center plans to purchase 10 more of the bar code printers.