(MENAFN Press) According to one leading healthcare accreditation body, 'wrong-site, wrong-procedure, wrong-patient surgery is an alarmingly common occurrence in health care organizations'. In addition, the Institute of Medicines reports that preventable medical errors cause up to 98,000 deaths and 770,000 adverse events in the US each year.
Eliminating hospital errors in patient identification, treatment administering, medication dispensing, and blood and specimen labelling, is a fundamental requirement to ensure the safety of patients and enhance hospital efficiency. Identification technologies such as barcoded wristbands and RFID radio frequency technology provide the patient with a 'virtual voice' and can link to systems such as electronic health records for fast access to accurate patient information. Zebra Technologies, the market leader in marking and printing technologies, will launch its LaserBand wristband technology combined with a preview of a new range of mobile printers for the Middle East healthcare sector at Arab Health 2014 to help hospitals deliver accurate patient ID and labelling at the patient's bedside.
In 2004/5 alone, the UK's NHS (National Health Service) faced over 400 million worth of clinical negligence claims - one of the key causes being patient misidentification. The National Patient Safety Agency states that this causes 19% of all hospital errors. The UK Government estimates that errors associated with mistaken identity cost the NHS approximately 2 billion in extra bed days. Medication errors alone account for an estimated 5% of annual medical malpractice claims in the US and proven practices such as barcode based safety initiatives are underpinning hospitals' efforts to meet the patient safety requirements set by industry accrediting bodies.
The Joint Commission International (JCI), which sets the standards for many of the region's major hospitals has its own International Patient Safety Goals designed to reliably identify the patient and match the treatment to the patient; it is a serious issue as, according to the JCI, 'wrong-patient errors occur in virtually all aspects of diagnosis and treatment'. There are several reasons for this; patients may be sedated or disoriented, or may have changed beds, rooms, or locations within the organization that may lead to errors in identification.
Patient wristbands can help identify patients but many studies have shown that between 2 percent and 6 percent of patients aren't properly identified by their wristbands. A study of wristband problems by the College of American Pathologists (CAP) found that 6.8 percent contained inaccurate data and 7.7 percent had illegible data. The biggest advantage barcode wristbands provide in healthcare settings is how they enable information to be presented and recorded. Barcode scanning is extremely accurate-much more accurate than any manual means of information recording
A barcode is simply an alternative to text for expressing information. Anything that can normally be printed on a wristband can be encoded in a barcode and it frequently serves as a key to a database. When the barcode is read, the scanner decodes the symbol and instructs a computer to look up or update the specific record that corresponds to that patient. With barcoded wristbands, nurses, doctors, medical assistants, lab technicians, and other personnel can be sure that the patient will be identified correctly and the right information will be presented every time the wristband is scanned.
"Patient safety is the number one priority for all hospitals, which are also looking to increase efficiency. The healthcare sector is one of our key business sectors in the GCC, where we support specimen tracking, patient identification, and asset tracking, and we are delighted to bring our new healthcare solutions to the region," says Pratik Kajaria, Territory Manager, Middle East, Zebra Technologies Europe Limited. "Zebra's integrated printing and wristband solutions in track and trace technology help increase patient safety and reduce errors from admission to laboratory, operating theatre, pharmacy and beyond by giving the patient a 'virtual voice'. Barcode printing solutions from Zebra can help hospitals, healthcare organizations and laboratories reduce or eliminate human errors and increase overall productivity, by making patients visible and offering the combined convenience of mobile printing and the security of wristband technology, right at the patient's bedside."
At Arab Health 2014, Zebra will present the latest patient ID integrated printing solutions for the region's healthcare sector, including a new range of mobile printers for the healthcare sector and Laserband barcoded wristband technology.
For further information about Zebra visit www.zebra.com