ISG Blog

Barcoding is as Easy as 1-2-3

Re-posted with permission from PDC Healthcare and edited.

Healthcare professionals are constantly searching for ways to incorporate new technologies and protocols that help improve patient safety. When a patient is admitted into a hospital or checks-in at a non-acute care facility, a plethora of personal and medical data starts to be recorded. This data pool continues to grow throughout the patient’s visit, and must be documented accurately to ensure that patients and their information are protected. Implementing a barcode wristband system allows caregivers to scan a patient’s identification wristband prior to every procedure or test and link to his or her EHR (Electronic Health Record) for positive patient identification.

Ensuring the “Five Rights”

A major patient safety requirement for healthcare professionals is ensuring the “Five Rights” of medication administration:

  1. Right Patient – Is the medication for this patient or for someone else?
  2. Right Drug – Is this the medication the provider ordered?
  3. Right Dose – How much medication should the patient be given?
  4. Right Route – Should the medication be given orally, intravenously, or by another method?
  5. Right Time – What time of day should the medication be taken?


When an automated data collection system like barcoding is in place, nurses are able to scan the barcode on the drug container, followed by the barcode on the patient’s ID wristband. Following this protocol allows nurses to gain access to a patient’s EHR and ensure the “five rights” are executed to deliver safe and efficient care.

Meeting Stage 2 Meaningful Use

Another regulatory requirement in place for hospitals is “Stage 2 Meaningful Use”, which is the second phase of the meaningful use incentive program that details the use of electronic health record (EHR) systems by hospitals and eligible health care providers. A barcoding system can help healthcare facilities meet Stage 2, established by the Centers of Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS) for Electronic Tracking of Medications, which emphasizes care coordination and exchange of patient information.

Barcodes That Stand the Test of Time

2D barcodes are generated in a square design to fit better than linear bar codes on curved surfaces, such as patient ID wristbands and prescription bottles. For a 2D barcoding system to be most effective, the media on which the barcodes are printed must resist fading and smudging and be able to withstand moisture, alcohol and solvents. Laminate overlays that could trap water or chemicals beneath the wristband’s surface may also compromise the barcode and accompanying patient data.

DuraSoft® Laser Patient ID System offered by the ISG features an antimicrobial wristband surface that does not require a cumbersome overlay and guarantees barcodes scan the first time, every time, for the entire duration of a patient’s stay.

Matching Barcode Wristbands & Labels

Printing barcode patient ID wristbands with matching barcode labels on a single laser sheet can further improve patient safety initiatives. Caregivers are able to apply barcode labels that match the barcode on a patient’s ID wristband to medical charts, specimen samples, medication containers and lab results, helping to reduce errors.

The DuraSoft® Laser Patient ID System offered by the ISG features a patient ID wristband plus labels all on one convenient sheet. DuraSoft® is available in multiple formats, serving as an easy drop-in replacement to work with existing laser printer systems in place. The laser sheets feature a varying amount of labels, depending on your facility’s needs. DuraSoft® allows caregivers to safely and effectively identify patients of all demographics including adults, pediatrics and infants.

Find the Patient ID System Right for You

Talk to an ISG expert in your area today about this and other patient identification solutions. Tell them about your specific needs and let them introduce you to solutions from the ISG, such as these and other barcoded wristband and label systems from PDC Healthcare. We can help you integrate multiple solutions and applications that are HIPAA-compliant and accurately identify patients while securing their information.


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