Optio Healthcare introduces a new RFID and labelling solution, which allows healthcare facilities to generate thermal, barcode and RFID labels that can be used to track pharmaceuticals, as well as manage controlled substances, pathogens and other materials that pose a public health risk.
It is a move that places Optio Healthcare amongst an industry expected to grow from a $1.95bn (€1.6bn) market in 2005 to $26.9bn in 2015, according to a Research & Markets June 2005 report.
But while other industries such as manufacturing begin to incorporate RFID and barcode labelling in business processes, healthcare lags behind.
"With barcode technology becoming increasingly affordable, it's surprising that only 3 per cent of small hospitals are currently bar coding medication," said Elaine King, RHIA, Optio Healthcare product manager.
"Mismedicating patients is one of the leading causes of accidental death in a hospital setting. Bar codes and RFID technology could significantly reduce this risk."
Advanced labelling solutions such as bar code and RFID tags offer benefits to both the clinical and business process sides of healthcare. Optio Advanced Labelling enables hospital staff to create bar-coded patient identification and RFID labels on demand, whether in the admissions department or at the patient's bedside.
Optio's labelling method also supports radio frequency identification (RFID) and barcode technology, as well as on demand printing from mobile devices.
RFID and advanced labelling solutions are becoming critical in helping hospitals and other providers ensure positive patient identification and automate time-consuming, error prone manual processes from admissions and the point of care through billing/materials management and discharge
"Advanced Labelling is part of Optio's cost-effective suite of health information management (HIM) solutions that enables healthcare facilities to improve hospital processes and patient encounters through efficiency," said Steve Kaye, Optio senior vice president of marketing and product management.
"Bar-coding wristbands at the point of admission or using RFID tag readers to track patients can dramatically reduce the amount of time care providers spend on administrative procedures. This time can then be redirected toward the patient. Advanced Labelling allows our healthcare customers to support a gradual, cost-effective transition to advanced bar-coding and RFID technologies," he added.
The Optio Advanced Labelling system will be showcased this year at the Healthcare Information and Management Systems Society (HIMSS) conference in San Diego.