Clinical laboratory testing is at the forefront of healthcare delivery today. Consider this: More than 13 billion tests are performed in over 250,000 certified clinical laboratories each year in the United States alone.
The global spread of COVID-19 has further increased demand for widespread laboratory testing. WHO’s Strategic Preparedness and Response Plan has strained many existing laboratories with added responsibilities and emergency preparedness recommendations as they struggle to meet demand with limited resources.
The need to automate lab asset management and specimen labeling
The clinical laboratory industry can meet emergency demand surges by automating testing processes and shortening the ‘laboratory testing cycle’. Data transfer, and mass sampling and testing techniques have been largely automated in most modern laboratories. However, asset tracking and lifecycle management are still done manually in many cases.
How does this impact lab performance?
Manual asset tracking leaves you vulnerable to errors such as misplaced test samples. Also, unanticipated downtime of testing equipment and untimely shortage of laboratory reagents may result in delayed diagnosis. This can stretch your testing cycle and threaten both the health and information security of your patients.
Many laboratories also use static, manual processes for specimen labeling. Phlebotomists often use sticky labels to fill in patient details by hand. This results in a high chance of human error, whereby test samples may get mislabeled and a false diagnosis occurs.
According to a 2014 study, the United States experiences about 12 million instances of diagnostic errors annually, being the third largest cause of death in the country. Researchers from John Hopkins School of Medicine concluded that diagnostic errors accounted for the most severe patient harm, and the highest total of liability claim payouts by the healthcare systems - amounting to $38.8 billion between 1986 and 2010.
The Solution: Automated lab asset management and specimen labeling with EZOfficeInventory and Citizen Printers
Automating lab asset management will enable you to reduce the testing cycle and meet urgent patient needs. Also, importantly, there’s a lower chance of diagnostic errors with digitized specimen labeling processes. This can help labs avoid life-threatening false diagnoses and hefty legal fees.
Consider the combined solution offered by EZOfficeInventory and Citizen Printers. With EZOfficeInventory’s asset management software, you can easily tag, track, maintain, and report on your testing samples and equipment at all times.
Create customized barcode and QR code labels for your testing reagents, test samples, and laboratory equipment using EZOfficeInventory and Citizen Systems printing solutions. Citizen printers are ideal for use in laboratories. They are compact, portable, HID-compliant, and can print with high-resolution, non-smudge ink even on one-inch labels. For sharp and concise prints on small test tube labels, printers with a 300 dpi resolution are perfect -- like the Citizen CL-E331 and CL-S631.
Citizen Systems printers are renowned for their longevity as well as reliability, making them a sound option for laboratories where life-changing labels are needed on a daily basis. They offer excellent value for healthcare environments where the total cost of ownership, as well as patient care, is the top priority.
Once lab assets are tagged, you can use the EZOfficeInventory Mobile App to scan these labels and check out respective assets to their intended users (phlebotomists) or locations. EZOfficeInventory also gives you the option to log parent-child locations for your items for more granular asset tracking. For instance, you can specify that specimen XYZ-123 is stored on shelf 7 of rack 423. This makes it easier to locate test tube samples and also prevents mislabeling or swap of samples, leading to lower diagnostic errors.
Additionally, you can schedule calibration and cleaning sessions for your testing equipment with EZOfficeInventory. Avoid unanticipated equipment downtime, extend the useful life of your high-value machines, and ensure reliable and consistent results with well-maintained assets. You can also streamline your inventory management and procurement processes ensuring you stay on top of your inventory needs and never run out of test reagents.
By streamlining lab asset management and specimen labeling, you can shorten the testing cycle, secure your sample handling techniques, and avoid liability claims. It helps you deliver faster and more accurate testing.