Handheld technology automates specimen collection and label printing
Misys Healthcare Systems, have introduced the Misys Laboratory - Collection Manager. The clinical lab software application uses handheld technology devices to assist healthcare professionals in automating specimen collection and print labeling at the bedside. The result is increased accuracy of patient identification, specimen data entry and tube labeling at the point of care leading to improved outcomes, reduced errors and enhanced patient safety.
ThedaCare, a Joint Commission on Accreditation of Healthcare Organization (JCAHO)-accredited integrated delivery network serving Northeastern Wisconsin, is among the first Misys customers to use Collection Manager within their daily laboratory workflow.
"Our goal is to reduce overall errors in our health system by 90 percent this year with a special emphasis on reducing specimen handling errors," said Linda Mirkes, laboratory system manager, ThedaCare. "We have made significant progress through a number of other initiatives, and we expect Collection Manager to give us the extra boost to help us reach our goal to better ensure the safety of our patients."
In 2003, ThedaCare's 160-bed Appleton Medical Center (AMC) in Appleton, Wis., re-centralized its specimen collection process to support ThedaCare's patient safety initiative and reassigned specimen collection historically performed by nursing to its phlebotomy team in the laboratory. One of three ThedaCare hospitals, AMC began using Collection Manager in May.
AMC's phlebotomists currently use Collection Manager via a wireless-compatible personal digital assistant (PDA) device such as the Symbol PPT 8846 with a built-in barcode scanner that connects to a portable printer. The healthcare professional positively identifies the patient by scanning the identification wristband and then collects the patient's specimen at the bedside. This ensures that the right specimen is drawn from the right patient and the right print label is applied to the specimen tube.
"This new tool enhances our ability to provide high quality care to our patients, and the staff especially like the ease of identifying the patient and printing labels for tubes at the bedside," said Mirkes. "The wireless handheld connection also enables Collection Manager to work in tandem with Misys Laboratory from any location in the hospital. The solution truly offers a complete point-of-care collection cycle."
Appleton Medical Center is using Collection Manager for other lab-specific tasks such as uploading data to print specimen collection lists per floor or per room. One notable benefit is its password-protected security feature that 'time stamps' or documents the hospital employee collecting the specimen and when the collection occurs. Added Mirkes, "Collection Manager captures and archives this data to Misys Laboratory as well as additional comments about the actual collection, which are both pertinent to the laboratory staff for performance testing."
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Posted on July 5, 2004