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Hospitals and other healthcare providers are committed to protecting patients and their safety. However, despite best efforts mistakes can happen, especially during specimen collection.

From blood to tissue samples, any type of specimen is at risk of being mishandled, mislabelled, and incorrectly matched with patients. Such scenarios lead to rejected specimens and repeat lab work, in a best-case scenario. But errors can have serious consequences leading to misdiagnoses, delayed treatments, and compromised patient safety.

To combat these issues, healthcare facilities have embraced the use of barcode technology as an efficient and reliable way of reducing errors in specimen collection, identification, and tracking.

Here’s why and how Datalogic barcode scanners and mobile computers can help support the specimen collection and management process.

Enhanced identification accuracy

Barcodes provide a highly accurate and automated method for identifying patient specimens. Typically, each specimen is assigned a unique barcode, which contains crucial patient information such as their name, medical record number, and specimen type.

With barcode scanners, healthcare professionals can quickly and accurately capture this data, reducing the risk of human error associated with manual data entry.

The automation of specimen identification helps eliminate the potential for mix-ups or mismatched data, ensuring that the right patient receives the right test results, treatments, and medications.

Safe specimen handling

Barcode systems act as a safeguard against potential errors in the specimen handling process.

When specimens are collected, the barcodes are scanned and verified against the patient’s identification, ensuring that the right specimen is linked to the right patient.

This step helps prevent mislabelling, sample contamination, or other errors that may compromise the integrity of the specimen and subsequent test results. Barcode technology also enables built-in checks and alerts for incompatible or duplicate tests, reducing the likelihood of unnecessary tests or errors.

Improved patient safety

Patient safety is crucial in healthcare, and barcodes play a vital role in promoting it. By accurately identifying patient specimens, barcodes reduce the risk of administering incorrect treatments or medications based on misidentified samples.

This technology enables healthcare providers to make well-informed decisions, ensuring that patients receive appropriate care based on reliable and accurate test results.

Barcode systems also improve the traceability of specimens, so you can easily locate them if necessary and protect patient safety on a broader scale.

Streamlined workflow and data management

Barcoded labels on specimen containers allow for easy tracking and traceability at every step of the process, from collection to testing and beyond.

Staff can seamlessly add specimen information to electronic health records, and other relevant databases. This accurate and real-time data capture eliminates the need for time-consuming manual record-keeping, reducing the chances of transcription errors.

It also allows staff to analyse trends, identify areas for improvement, and make data-driven decisions to optimise workflow and resource allocation. Most importantly, streamlining staff workflow allows them to focus on patient care.

Reducing specimen errors with Datalogic

Datalogic offers a full line of handheld scanners and mobile computers that are designed specifically for patient identification and specimen traceability.

The Gryphon 4500 series are compatible with a variety of healthcare applications, including medication administration systems and electronic medical record (EMR) systems, which makes them ideal for capturing data from patient specimens.

The Skorpio X5 is a handheld mobile computer with a large touchscreen display and wireless capabilities, which can be useful for transmitting patient data and other information securely.

They also have a high-resolution camera for capturing images of patient IDs or prescription labels. This makes them suitable for a wide range of healthcare applications and especially specimen labels.

Read our blog for more information on which Datalogic hardware is best suited for your healthcare application.

It’s clear that barcode technology has revolutionised the specimen collection and testing process. As healthcare facilities continue to adopt barcoding systems, the industry moves closer to achieving higher levels of patient safety, operational efficiency, and overall quality of care.

If you have any questions or would like more information about Datalogic hardware, please contact our experts at