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MobiLab stops labeling errors at bedside

Think about the last time you rented a car. An employee with a hand-held device probably checked you out and back in again, even printing a receipt. A similar technology is at work with MobiLab, a wireless specimen collection system that’s been used at Hallmark Health System (HHS) since 2012.

MobiLab uses bar code scanning and bedside label printing to ensure correct patient identification and accurate labeling of blood, urine and other samples. More than 150 staff at HHS – primarily phlebotomists, nurses, clinical associates and nursing assistants – have been trained to use MobiLab on the inpatient floors and in the Emergency Departments and Urgent Care Centers. The devices – both hand-held and laptop versions – are used to collect specimens from more than 100,000 patients annually.

How does MobiLab help protect patient safety? “When MobiLab is in use, we have no labeling errors,” said System Director of Laboratory Services Michael Biskup. “The phlebotomist or nurse takes the device to the bedside and scans the patient’s wristband ID. Orders pop up for what specimens need to be collected and labels for the collection vessels print out. There is no question of mislabeling.”

The system has a number of checks and balances, including the need to re-scan the patient’s wristband ID after the specimens have been collected. MobiLab also interfaces with HHS’s Meditech hospital information system so the labs can upload and download information as needed. “Besides improving positive patient identification, MobiLab gives us accurate data compared to our previous manual process,” said Biskup. “This has helped us with workflow and productivity.”

 

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