Best practice solutions for specimen collection October 18th, 2018

Best practice solutions for specimen collection
Specimen labelling has recently come under greater review, as it could be the next big opportunity to improve patient safety in healthcare environments.

It’s always unfortunate when specimen collection labelling errors contribute to wasted time. But there is also a possibility of a much more alarming outcome, as one mistake could potentially lead to the serious consequences of a misdiagnosis.

That’s why hospitals have been working closely with their EMR vendors and Honeywell to create new solutions and new best practices for specimen labelling.

In the past it was common for nurses and others that collect samples to print specimen labels at a centrally located printer at the nurses’ station or in the hospital lab. From there, the clinician would make the rounds, carrying the specimen labels for different patients from room to room.  

Although clinicians normally take great care to select the proper specimen label for each patient, errors do occur. Those mistakes are not only costly, but unnecessary. They could easily be corrected with the latest technology available.

Today the best practice is to print a patient specimen label only at the patient’s bedside and only at the time the specimen is ready for labelling. This workflow eliminates the risk that a clinician will choose the wrong label.  

EMR vendors have updated their software to reflect this workflow improvement, and leading hospitals have been deploying specimen label printers in greater numbers than in the past. 

EMR vendors realised that true bedside printing requires hospitals to mount a mobile printer on every WoW cart. Also, they must add wall-mountable printers in high specimen collection rooms such as the ED, ICU and PACU.  Gone are the days of a nurse or phlebotomist carrying a printer or labels to a patient’s room.

Take for example Honeywell’s PB series of mobile printers. The PB series is available in three different sizes capable of printing labels from 2 to 4 inches so users can find the just-right fit. The printers are also built to survive real-world demands and can handle drops of up to 1.5m (5ft).

These printers integrate seamlessly with other Honeywell mobile devices, offer secure wired or wireless communication options – such as Bluetooth - and are co-engineered with Genuine Honeywell Media Supplies for guaranteed label quality.

To find out more about the latest Honeywell devices, contact BlueStar today.


Samantha is BlueStar's Digital Media Specialist, and the primary contributing writer for VartechNation. Previously, she has worked as a Public Relations Associate and a Social Media Manager.