Houston, TX- Labels are essential to ensuring accuracy in a number of workplaces. They are required in a lot of industry-intensive work—safety labels at a construction site or shipping labels in a warehouse both come to mind. Another industry where labels play a huge part in efficiency and, most importantly, the difference between life and death, is in the healthcare industry. This is why proper Healthcare labeling is so critical.
Healthcare Labeling | Consider the Gravity of the Situation
Mislabeling can have a variety of consequences, from unnecessary shipping costs to time-consuming miscommunication. But in some industries, the consequences are even more dire. In industries like construction and the medical profession, labeling can spell the difference between life and death. Specimen labeling errors may not always have the same grave consequences as the improper labeling of medication; however, they still present a significant problem concerning the safety of people handling chemicals or collected specimens from patients.
While specimen labeling errors do happen, measures have been enacted to make sure such occurrences are rare. Examples of this are guidelines like the ISO-IEC Standard 15189 as well as educational programs, marketing strategies, and other techniques. Adhering to these rules and guidelines boosts patient care a hundredfold.
Point-of-care labeling consists of a mobile computer, a printer, and label media. These ensure that real-time draw orders and patient records are done as soon as they are ordered; labels can be printed immediately or be dispensed as soon as the order is given; and that media will remain affixed to a specific container, making sure that orders are carried out correctly and specimens are tested accurately.
There are also other elements to point-of-care processes for the Houston, Texas Healthcare Environment . Barcoded patient wristbands are not always part of the loop, but they can also be an important part of maintaining a sense of order and ensuring accuracy in healthcare. Barcode patient identification can be used to properly identify patients according to the medical orders that are given based on their condition.
On Demand Printing Within the Healthcare Environment
Labels that are printed on-demand and immediately dispensed helps to create improved efficiency in healthcare. Doctors won’t have to consult nurses anymore, allowing them to cover a larger number of their patients. At the same time, nurses can act more quickly, needing only to look at the labels accorded to the patients and their specific specimens, allowing them to get more orders and jobs done. Healthcare professionals, across Houston, Texas, appreciate the efficiency and accuracy of on demand printing.
Barcode Southwest is as the name says—a leading solutions provider for barcode printers, scanners, and supplies. Located in College Station, Texas, the company has been working with healthcare providers to improve the accuracy and efficiency of patient care processes ever since their founding in 1980. They have a wide range of stock which includes customized products for Food Processing, Horticulture, and Healthcare. Long-term relationships and understanding their clients are what the company prides itself in, and what sets it apart from others. In the Healthcare industry, Barcode Southwest believes that ease of access and accuracy of operation is second to none. Thus, they readily supply printers for point-of-care processes as well as barcode scanners for ready recognition of patients, their information, and their needs.
Label Printing- Thermal Label Printers vs Laser vs Inkjet!
Over the years, technology has changed with the demands of printing labels. Decisions are made based on volume, types of labels (media), the application and, of course, your budget. TCO, or Total Cost of Ownership, is the most important decision maker in today’s business environment. Let’s discuss which Label Printer may be the best fit for your company.
Laser Printers and Document Printing
Firstly, Laser printers are designed for document (sheet) printing and are very good at it. Therefore, they produce excellent print quality and are fast. Laser printers can print black only or full color sheets and are widely available. However, laser printers are not preferred for high volume label printing.
- Cost per label is relatively expensive
- Adhesive builds up inside the printer degrading the performance
- Adhesive is not formulated for long term use or harsh environments
- Page printers cannot print single labels- result is wasted sheets
- Toner is extremely expensive
- High toner usage when printing UPC’s
For these reasons, laser printers excel when used for document printing. As a result, they cannot meet the demand of high volume applications that require high quality labels.
Inkjet Printers for Small Office Low Volume Users
Secondly, Inkjet printers have many of the same benefits and limitations as laser printers. However, the low initial cost does not translate into low TCO. The quality of Inkjet printers may be “OK” for some applications, but the quality of inkjet printers is inconsistent.
- Recurring cost of replacing or refilling ink expensive cartridges
- Inkjet quality is not consistent
- High ink costs when printing UPC’s
- Poor print quality makes barcodes unreadable to a scanner
- Poor print quality does not communicate a strong brand image
Inkjet printers have most of the same disadvantages as laser printers. The need for sheet-fed labels and limited quality of label stock are several reasons inkjet printer are best suited for small office, low quality label applications.
Thermal Printers Offer Many Benefits For Label Printing
Thermal printers work by using controlled heat to create an image onto the label media. The two methods used are Direct Thermal or Thermal Transfer. Direct thermal, the most widely used print technology, applies heat directly to the chemically coated media to create an image. There is No Ink or Toner when using the Direct Thermal method of label printing. In contrast, Thermal Transfer method printing uses a ribbon to transfer the image to the label media. In addition, Thermal Transfer printers are used when a permanent or long-term image is required. Here are a few more decision-making thoughts on why Thermal Printers are the best printing method for labels for many applications.
- Large media selection- paper, synthetics, aggressive adhesives
- Perfect for print on demand applications- helps reducing waste
- Consistent high-quality printing- Text or UPC’s
- Designed for hospital clean or rugged environments
- Software included for most label printing applications
Decision Time- Which Print Technology is best for me?
- How often will labels need to be printed?
- How many labels will be needed at any time?
- Are barcodes being printed?
- What environment will the labels be used?
- How long do the labels need to last?
- What size labels are needed?
- What type of material will you need to print on?
- How critical is the quality of print?
Laser and inkjet printers have several unique benefits that apply to sheet-fed printers. First of all, sheet-fed printers are used in office environments for document printing. They print high quality documents, but are costly to operate because they require expensive ink/toner. On the other hand, thermal printers have a lower TCO and are designed to be used in manufacturing, warehousing, and healthcare environments. Finally, Thermal Printers also give you the flexibility to match the most cost-effective print technology with the best label material for the application.
Thank You and Happy Printing!
Barcode Southwest is a premier supplier of thermal barcode printers for a wide range of industry applications. Call Customer Service at (888) 764-9965 and let’s discuss your application, problems and possible solutions. We’re always here to help!
Improving Healthcare Accuracy
Healthcare Accuracy Using Barcodes
Barcode technology has taken over the world today. In retail and manufacturing industries, these contain a certain code embedded in the barcode that helps to identify essential information about the product. When it was made, how it should be used, and how much it costs. But what about improving healthcare accuracy using barcodes?
In the healthcare industry, barcodes contain a different kind of essential information—information that can save lives by ensuring the right treatment is administered to the right patient at the right time. Barcode applications within the healthcare industry help to avoid mistakes and ensure these and many other ‘rights’ when it comes to the life and death responsibility of providing patient care:
- The right patient. The patient needs to be identified correctly before any admission or procedure is to be made. The wrong medication and processes done on the wrong person can and will turn out deadly.
- The right drug. This falls under the right patient category, but it makes sense. A patient cannot be given the right medication if he or she doesn’t need the medication at all. Administering the wrong medication might make things worse and have grave consequences.
- The right dose. A dose of treatment means a world of comfort for someone undergoing medication. If the wrong dose is given, however, the results could also be deadly. Making sure that the right dose is given also ensures the patient receives the best care possible.
- The right time. When receiving medication and care, everything needs to be taken according to the doctor’s established protocol—medication, surgery, and therapy. Not receiving well-timed treatment goes against a patient’s right as well and could lead to him or her getting sub-standard care.
How May We Help You?
Barcode Southwest aims to be a partner of healthcare providers in providing the perfect solution to ensuring accuracy and the best practices in patient care. We offer a complete line of quality barcode printers, scanners, and supplies to be used in the healthcare industry. Barcode Southwest invests in long-term relationships with customers to understand their needs; the company supplies quality products and services to improve patient care. We also cater to other industries, such as Food Processing, Horticulture, Retail, and Education. Barcode Southwest aims to have a long and fruitful relationship with partners from a variety of industries.
Are Houston Manufacturing Companies Ready to Move from Windows to Android?
Windows has been the undisputed king of OS for quite some time. Mac quickly cleaned up their act, of course, but when speaking of customization and adjustments, Windows is up there with the best of them. The OS can be re-made to suit the different programming needs and app requirements for Houston manufacturing companies. But no other OS can match the flexibility of Android.
However, in an ever-growing field of mobility and adaptability, the Android OS has emerged as a major player, threatening to replace Windows in the workplace. While that may be a hasty statement, Android has quickly established itself through the devices being used in the Houston manufacturing workplace. This is why many frequent Windows users are now learning to use this flexible OS.
Why Make the Move?
Android has been a very well-distributed, widely used OS ever since the first smartphones were made. However, how is this OS better than Windows for the mobile workforce?
- Customization. Windows OS programs can be created to suit a company or industry’s needs. Android OS is open source making it more flexible and adaptable for Houston manufacturing companies. Aside from its popularity with consumers, programmers or company IT personnel can do virtually anything with Android’s open source code.
- Modernization. Windows OS currently is on its tenth edition; however, Android, a much younger OS, is already in its seventh incarnation. Of course, the lack of Windows improvements was because it didn’t have any competitors that spurred its early development.
- Updates. Smartphones were only recently introduced into the public, and yet, the Android OS has made significant improvements. Android has proven to be a favorite, especially for Houston manufacturing mobile workforce devices.
- Applications. Again, the sheer number of applications available makes this alternative OS a very popular—if very open—OS. Because of this, Houston industries may even choose to design their own app for the OS or select some from many available alternatives from the app store.
The Choice is Open
That may or may not mean open source, but in the end, choosing to move from Windows depends on the company and their need. A brick-and-mortar office won’t have any use for Android phones aside from communication and other time-intensive applications; mobile industries, meanwhile, will put their faith into apps developed for Android devices, most of which are mobile and adaptable. It all really comes down to which OS best suits your needs; the more mobility your industry demands, the more Android makes sense for your business.
Barcode Southwest has been creating solutions for people choosing Android over Windows. This is a logical choice if an industry is looking to go mobile. Most PCs use Windows OS, but the mobile devices—tablets and smartphones—are Android’s territory. We provide barcode printers, scanners, and other supplies. From quick and decisive mobile printing to mobile devices that enable real-time scanning, we cover everything. Staying on top of the latest industrial devices is an effective way of knowing the market and effectively getting close to the clients as well.
At Barcode Southwest, we cater to a wide range of industries that are mobile; like Manufacturing, Healthcare and Retail. Barcode Southwest may be reached at (888) 764-9965 or through our website at barcodesouthwest.com.
Barcode Southwest is a premier supplier of Houston, TX barcode products for a wide range of industry applications. We supply to clients all over the Southwest region of the U.S., including but not limited to: Dallas, TX; Austin, TX; San Antonio, TX; and College Station, TX.