Spartanburg Regional Healthcare Improves Patient Safety by Switching to Thermal Wristband and Label Printing
Spartanburg Regional Healthcare System, an integrated healthcare delivery system in South Carolina, is building on its reputation for technological excellence with the recent adoption of thermal print patient identification technology.
Spartanburg is one of many health systems across the US that has adopted thermal print technology for patient ID wristbands and labels. A longtime customer of PDC, Spartanburg worked closely with the PDC team to choose the right thermal solution and implement it across several of their facilities.
Miranda Kinley, Registration Supervisor for Surgery & Pre-Op for Spartanburg, was an integral part of the process of switching from laser to thermal printing. She knew the change would bring operational efficiencies to her facility, and that it would also increase patient safety.
An Overworked, Bogged-Down Laser Printer
“Our biggest issue with laser printing our patient ID wristbands is that we were printing on a centralized, shared printer that got bogged down,” Kinley said. “There were so many inefficiencies because the same printer was used by multiple people and was also used for paperwork.”
Additionally, with laser wristband sheets, the team found themselves throwing away almost a full sheet of labels because they only needed the one wristband on the sheet.
Realizing the Full Potential of Thermal Printing
With the switch to thermal, Kinley’s team enjoys the convenience and added safety of having a printer available at each workstation.
“It has really helped us improve efficiencies and patient safety,” Kinley said. “You’re printing your wristband or label at your own workstation so you don’t have to wait with three other people for their wristband to come out of the printer. You know you’re pulling the right wristband for your patient. It’s an extra safety step, and reduces the opportunity for human error.”
Switching to thermal printing also helped eliminate waste for Kinley’s team, as they were no longer printing full sheets of labels just to use the single wristband.
The Spartanburg clinical team, according to Kinley, was also excited to make the change, especially with the addition of 2D barcodes on the bands.
“Clinical really loves the way the thermal bands scan,” Kinley said. “They can more easily scan the 2D barcode at various angles where previously they had to reposition the band on the patient before scanning. This is a huge benefit in the OR.”
Hassle-Free Implementation and a Smooth Go-Live
Spartanburg installed the thermal printers in June of 2022, with the help and support of their IT team and the PDC Field Sales Team. Joe Galascione, Field Sales Engineer for PDC, was heavily involved in the integration and installation of the PDC thermal printers with Spartanburg’s IT and EMR systems.
“Our team works hard to support the transition to make things work smoothly and ensure there isn’t a strain on hospital resources,” Galascione said. “We worked closely with their IT team and Epic Analyst to make sure everything integrated seamlessly with their EMR, Epic. We created new templates for their admission and L&D patient wristbands to ensure all of the patient data and barcodes fit and could be easily scanned.”
Kinley was onsite for the installation to help with testing and training.
“Our go-live went great,” she said. “The transition across the organization went smoothly.”
More About Working With PDC
Kinley went on to talk more about the benefit of working with PDC, adding, “We can order and get the supply so quickly. Just knowing you can place the order and get it the same week you order is huge.”
PDC thermal wristbands, labels and printers are available at pdchealthcare.com. PDC healthcare identification experts are readily available to help hospitals make the conversion to a thermal patient identification solution. Contact PDC today.