The emerging technology of on-demand printers can offer significant benefits to histology laboratories and pathology procedures, while also facilitating error reduction, explains Lauraline Winter.
On-demand cassette and slide printers have risen in popularity as the modernisation of histology spreads, and as the technology develops so does the print quality, production speed and the amount of data a small two-dimensional barcode can contain. Though some pathologists may steadfastly disagree with their necessity, it cannot be denied that errors from handwritten labelling are unfortunately unavoidable due to human nature. All it takes is a smudge of handwriting, a misheard instruction, or simply a misspelled name which can have catastrophic consequences for patients, physicians, and the reputation of the hospital or laboratory.
Healthcare systems and regulating organisations have taken steps to focus on process excellence at all stages of the care continuum, and one solution to improve accuracy is a reliable printing solution, coupled with the ability to track specimens as they make their journey through the lab. Many pathologists that have not yet implemented such technologies face a crossroad, to remain using the ‘analogue’ procedures they have become accustomed to or to utilise new and emerging technologies to better optimise Lean workflows and reduce potential errors.
Labelling errors and the domino effect
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