The Experts Say...

How Improved Labeling Reduces Medication Errors and Improves Patient Safety

By December 5, 2019 No Comments
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Errors in the medical field can put the well-being of patients at risk. This is especially true when it comes to misprinted or missing labels on medications or test samples. In fact, when surveyed, 85% of anesthesiologists reported at least one medication error (or a near miss) during the length of their careers, while 84% have admitted that better labeling practices would reduce the number of these instances. Not only does labeling help keep patients safer, but it can help improve staff productivity.

The Benefits of Custom Tape and Labeling in the Medical Field

Custom tape and medical labels have some major benefits that anyone seeking to improve their workplace should consider. These can include:

  • Productivity
    If there is any confusion regarding what a specific medication is, or to whom it’s prescribed, time can be wasted trying to hunt down answers. That can take away from the ability to provide proper care. In a lab setting, the labeling of samples is critical for keeping track of ownership. Any confusion here can lead to a misdiagnosis or time lost trying to track down the patient. Custom tape labels can help you easily keep track of all of this, in addition to being used to label patients charts or create specific reminders for staff members. For instance, a dry erase label can be used to mark when the patient was last checked on and can be updated with each new visit. This helps keep everyone on the same page so that nothing is forgotten or overlooked.
  • Accuracy
    In the medical field, accuracy is of the utmost importance. Labels that are easy to read can help mitigate human error related to misread names. This can not only help improve the quality of care, but it can reduce the chance for potentially dangerous medication errors that can occur when a label is difficult to read. Custom tape labels can also be used on supplies that aren’t patient-specific to ensure that everything is easy to find when it is needed. For instance, labeling general medications in the convenience box can help you easily identify general meds that a patient might need even when not directly prescribed to them.
  • Safety
    Custom labels improve safety by clearly providing specific warnings about hazards related to chemicals or medical waste. For instance, labeling your disposal containers can ensure that everything that needs to be is safely stored on-site. This can reduce the chance of accidents and ensure that all staff members are aware of the disposal locations. This can be especially critical for the disposal of used needles and reduce the change of anyone accidentally coming in contact with them.

In the medical field, clear and concise labels can go a long way towards ensuring both patient safety and staff productivity. Custom printed labels can help specify prescriptions, patient samples, and potential hazards. Labels can also be printed with barcodes to add an extra level of security, provided your location utilizes barcodes and scanning for patient identification. Additionally, label protectors can be useful for protecting labels that need to stay in place for a long period of time, for instance, waste disposal labels.

If you are in the medical field and would like to improve your labeling methods, working with a labeling company is one of the best ways to ensure quality. You can not only have labels designed for your specific needs, but you can order as many as are needed and in many different types. This investment not only helps make your staff’s job easier, but it helps to ensure patient safety for as long as they are in your care.