Skip to main content
Home / Blog / Improving Healthcare Lab Labeling

Improving Healthcare Lab Labeling

If you aren’t using barcode labels in your healthcare lab, you should be. There are several excellent reasons why lab labeling with barcodes is the best method for identifying your important specimens. It is for these reasons that barcoding is commonplace in successful laboratories.

Your labels contain critical information regarding the sample they are placed on. If for any reason these labels aren’t easy to read or if the label is lost or damaged, then the testing done on the specimen is unreliable and obsolete. This not only leads to wasted time and money but opens the door to harmful conclusions.

Implementing a barcode system in your lab doesn’t need to be a difficult procedure. In fact with today’s technology printing barcodes right in your lab can be quick, easy and cost effective. However, the main reason to consider putting in place a barcode system is to eliminate waste and harmful errors.

Here are just a couple of the problems that implementing a barcode system in your healthcare lab can solve:
Proper Lab Labeling Improves Unreadable Labels
Labels that are handwritten are unreliable and sometimes hard to read. The ink can smudge when coming in contact with liquids, making the information sometimes impossible to read. If the labels are small, then it’s impossible to include all of the information necessary neatly when handwritten. Handwritten information can contain transposition errors, meaning that any numbers included can easily be misread by the technician.

Printed labels can solve all of these problems by providing uniformed and legible information with improved print quality, while greatly reducing the chance of mistakes. Error and misinterpretation are eliminated.

Using the Wrong Label for Your Application
Labels come in all shapes, sizes and colors. There are coated labels available to protect your data from abrasions. There are also different types of adhesives available to make the label adhere temporarily or permanently. For a barcode system to work effectively, you will need a label that is going to work properly in your environment. Factors to consider include:

How will the label be handled and applied
How long will the label need to last
Will you need color coding for organization
What environmental factors will affect the label
What will the label be used for

With all of the options available in labels today, there is a label that will work effectively and efficiently for your application.
Wasted Time
Productivity improves greatly when a lab’s workflow is organized and efficient. Workflow slows or even stops when a technician isn’t given the proper tools or the sound information it takes to make the decisions they need to complete the task at hand.

These are only a couple of ways an effective labeling system can greatly increase productivity while reducing waste and mistakes.