For well over ten years, Chemistry, Hematology, Toxicology and other lab areas have been making excellent use of labeling and bar coding technologies. These lab areas have enjoyed increased accuracy, improved management and reporting, and decreased costs. Samples enter the lab, data is entered about the patient including demographics and billing. The sample is prepared and bar coded labels are printed. These attached labels follow the samples through the facility. At different points, the bar codes are scanned either by hand scanner or by an automated testing device. The management system of the facility is updated with the samples current location as well as any test results. Eventually the sample is destroyed or stored. The data is available to all interested and authorized parties.
The early adoption of these technologies by Chemistry, Hematology and Toxicology lab areas can be credited to the larger samples (test tubes) allowing for easily scanned bar codes, the bar coding standards adopted by major equipment manufacturers and a need for lower costs.
Cytopathology labs are feeling the pressure from regulators and managed care to increase quality and decrease costs.
Software. Pathology lab management software is becoming more common. Features include linking samples and patient demographics, up-to-date billing information, location of a slide in the lab, screening responsibility, and many more. Bar codes help these systems by increasing speed and accuracy. Fairly simple custom systems are available to augment your current efforts. Also, label printing software can get you up and running with bar codes right away.
Regulation. Various governing groups strongly encourage the use of patient name or social security numbers as identifiers for samples. This information helps track and confirm a slide’s origin and location while it is in your lab.
Screening Devices. New automated screening devices are making use of bar codes to link results and system data. These results can be available faster to lab managers, pathologists, cytotechnologists and physicians.
A quick and easy implementation of bar codes in the Cytopathology lab can bring together all of your systems, decreasing your costs and improving quality.
Fortunately, bar code technology has kept pace with the needs of Cytopathology labs. Slides can now be labeled to include patient specific identifiers as well as bar codes.
Bar Code Labels Printed in Your Lab
Blank XyResist® labels can be made in any size and layout to fit your slides and include an almost unlimited amount of information when printed in your lab. Most bar codes will act like license plates, following the samples through the receiving, staining, coverslipping and screening areas. When scanned, the bar codes will access a specific record of data and update the record in some number of ways. Of course, you will want to make use of some other areas of the label to specify patient name and/or social security number as well as facility name and the tests to be performed. Some information will be printed in human-readable characters. Some information will be printed in the bar code. Some information will be in both areas. Illegible handwriting will be replaced with clean text and machine readable bar codes.
Bar Code Labels Printed for you
Electronic Imaging Materials, Inc. can print your XyResist® labels for you. The benefits of preprinted labels include quick project start-up and decreased equipment costs. Barcodes, human-readable interpretation of the bar coded data and facility name are all available. We can even add colors. Take a look at our Printed Labels Page for more information about all of the sizes, colors and content available to you.
Automated screening devices are becoming more common. These devices have built in scanners and connect to your computer information system. They report the slide location and results to your management software. Hand held scanners can be used to bring the benefits of bar coding to any current software that you might have. Simply put – You won’t have to type the sample number anymore! Available from EIM, these hand scanners range in capability and price. Please contact our Label Experts for more information!