Patient identification is a big issue in the healthcare industry, with up to 5% of patients (1 in 20) misidentified each year, according to the 2016 National Patient Misidentification Report. In large states with up to 10 million people, that’s half a million patients potentially getting the wrong treatment or paying the wrong amount for care. A thermal patient identification solution offers hospitals a way to minimize the risk of this happening without the added cost and time involved in using standard identifiers.
Printable patient identification wristbands with barcodes are standard in the healthcare industry. The thermal printed option uses a barcode image that is burned onto the wristband instead of being laser-printed, which gives staff a more secure way to avoid identification errors.
Here are 4 reasons switching to a thermal print solution is an improvement for your hospital:
1. Reduces Costs
Laser printers require toner or ink, with barcode printing requiring exceptionally large amounts of black toner to achieve the right level of contrast. So, when printing high volumes of barcoded patient ID wristbands, your facility could go through toner at a high rate, which means a high cost. Thermal printers eliminate the need and cost of toner.
Additionally, laser wristbands likely aren’t as durable or smudge-resistant as their thermal-printed counterparts. Switching to a thermal printing solution eliminates the cost associated with re-printing wristbands as they become damaged or illegible. It also allows you to have a printer solely dedicated to your thermally printed wristbands rather than having a laser printer that is a shared resource for other printing needs.
2. Minimizes Waste
Hospitals using standard laser printers are forced to print whole or half sheets of labels for each patient. While some of these may be used on patient files and documentation as well as the standard wristband, many are wasted on a daily basis. This is not only a waste of paper and adhesive used for the labels, but it’s also a waste of expensive barcode-density toner or ink.
Any printed wristband labels that aren’t used also need to be disposed of according to HIPAA guidelines, which is a waste of time, materials and hospital resources. A thermal print solution eliminates the need to overprint and then dispose of labels containing confidential patient information, minimizing this waste.
3. Speeds Up Check-Ins
Patient admissions can be a lengthy process, and technology that can speed up check-ins offers multiple benefits for your healthcare facility. A thermal patient identification solution* integrates with your admissions software and prints on-demand. This reduces the amount of time it takes to produce and assemble barcoded wristbands. Staff no longer needs to manually print labels, peel them off the sheet and attach them to the wristbands, and then add a protective covering for durability.
4. Increases Patient Safety
Identification wristbands connect patients to their prescribed treatment and care. When hospital personnel are unable able to scan or read the wristband, the patient’s safety could be at risk. A thermal print solution for patient identifiers provides clearer printing that lasts longer and ensures readability at all times. Even when the patient is unable to speak or provide information, the wristband speaks for them to ensure they get the right care.
Switching to a thermal patient identification solution is a simple change that can make a big difference to your institution. Eliminate printer jams, hospital staff frustration and excessive costs, and enhance your patients’ safety at the same time.