Barcoded wristbands have already been proven to increase patient safety. Positive patient identification prevents medical errors and protects the integrity of specimen collection. So, you know that wristbands are the solution, but then you have a choice to make. Which printer and wristbands are the best investment?
Laser versus thermal printer
Let’s start with the printer. A laser printer is probably the most convenient choice, since you likely have one in your admissions area. Do you share the printer with other users who are printing documents, labels, and items other than wristbands? If so, you either need a dedicated tray for wristbands or must load the media when you print the wristbands. Secondly, unless you’re printing an entire sheet of wristbands, you’re probably wasting the unused ones on the sheet.
Next, consider the quality of laser printing. This printing technology does not produce the durability to create a barcode that will last in a hospital setting. Between the daily wear and the exposure to disinfectants and other solutions, you’ll probably replace the wristband sooner rather than later.
A thermal printer, however, IS designed to produce crisp, clear, durable barcodes. You can print one at a time, without wasting media. And having a dedicated wristband printer means no sharing or monitoring. Save time, save money, and produce more durable wristbands.
Wristbands: One size doesn’t fit all
Now, you need to choose the wristbands for your thermal printer. Consider the quality of the printing, first and foremost. Will the information imprinted on that wristband still be legible and scannable days later? Zebra’s Z-Bands, for example, are designed to last up to 14 days, much longer than the average patient stay.
These bands also feature an antimicrobial coating, to protect the patient. This safety precaution is an important consideration when choosing your wristbands. They’re also MR-safe, because they’re made from polypropylene, with no metal content.
Finally, consider the ease of printing and assembly. If every wristband requires staff time to peel and insert the label, you’re expending more labor than you should. Z-Bands come out of the wristband printer ready to attach to the patient. It might seem like a simple thing, but when you add up the number of wristbands produced per shift, per day, you’ll see significant waste.
At Cal-Sierra, we like the Zebra HC100 wristband printer and the Z-Bands. It doesn’t get any easier to produce high quality wristbands with this solution. Just load a cartridge with the size you want (infant, pediatric, adult) and the HC100 automatically calibrates. Zebra also offers the Soft Infant Z-Band and Z-Band UltraSoft, the softest wristband on the market. Remove the wristband from the printer and attach it to the patient’s wrist. You can choose from an adhesive tab or color-coded clip. It’s fast, safe, comfortable, secure, and durable.
Protect your patients by choosing the right wristband solution. Talk to Cal-Sierra to explore the possibilities. Be sure to download the Cal-Sierra Healthcare Solutions Guide. A thermal printer, however, IS designed to produce crisp, clear, durable barcodes. You can print one at a time, without wasting media. And having a dedicated wristband printer means no sharing or monitoring. Save time, save money, and produce more durable wristbands.