21st October 2019

Improving patient safety at the point of care

Improving patient safety at the point of care

Mobile printing technology has changed processes and standards in organisations across the board.

From retail logistics to manufacturing, but none more so than in healthcare.

For obvious reasons, patient safety is of vital importance and accuracy is even more essential in healthcare than in other sectors.

Mobile printing technology in healthcare

Healthcare is, by its very nature, a fast-paced, dynamic and high-risk environment. Healthcare professionals today are busier than ever. As medications become more advanced, the risk of complications and mistakes only increases. In the healthcare sector, the consequences of making a mistake have the potential to be disastrous.

Using wireless, wearable printers can help the healthcare sector keep up with the frantic pace and need for accuracy. By producing labels on-demand and at the bedside of patients, healthcare professionals can produce timely and accurate medication information. Confirming patient ID when giving treatment instructions meets the legislative needs at the point of care.

This not only improves accuracy and safety but also makes workers more efficient. The ability to print labels and other documentation as and when they are required saves time and money too – an ever-increasing priority for today’s stretched healthcare resources.


Barcoding has risen as the gold-standard for labelling in the healthcare sector. Using barcodes in healthcare labelling can cut medication errors. Additionally, barcodes are relatively easy and simple to put in place, have a proven ROI, and are useful in a wide range of applications. Barcodes are used across the healthcare sector, in applications including:

  • Unit dose┬ámedication
  • Specimen collection
  • Blood administration
  • Track and trace systems
  • Pharmacy services


Wearable printers allow healthcare staff to keep their hands free for other activities. They are able to quickly produce documents and labels wherever and whenever they’re needed. Wireless connections remove the inconvenience and potential for danger associated with trailing cables.

Cart-mounted Solutions

Healthcare workers can distribute documents on-the-go by mounting tabletop printers on movable carts. This type of configuration is ideal for more complex printing requirements.

Advanced functionality (printing in a range of sizes, colours and formats) or capacity (the ability to produce a high-volume output) may be beyond the reach of a small wearable. The power and battery supply of cart-mounted printers aren’t limited. Cart-mounted printers, like wearables, can connect wirelessly to a device as required.

Wireless Communications

In the healthcare setting, it is essential for technology and hardware to be wireless where possible. Trailing cables are not only inconvenient and cumbersome but also present a potential hazard. Zebra devices and printers have a number of options for wireless connectivity, including local area network (LAN), WiFi and Bluetooth technology.

Print Methods

Zebra mobile printers use thermal-based technology to meet print needs. Thermal printing is ideal for labelling on the go. It offers high-quality output, flexible options, and durable equipment.

  • Direct Thermal Printing – Direct thermal printing creates an image directly onto chemically-treated label material. In the fast-paced healthcare environment, direct thermal printers can meet most requirements whilst reducing waste
  • Thermal Transfer Printing – Thermal transfer printing melts images onto the label material from a chemically-treated ribbon. The images produced are more precise and durable than in direct thermal printing. Thermal transfer printing is perfectly suited to barcoding

Device management

Healthcare labels need high levels of accuracy and quality. This requires fine-tuning of key features including darkness settings and print speed. Zebra devices make it easy to manage and manipulate print settings as required.
Device power can also be managed accurately. This is essential for devices that need to last the full length of a hospital shift.

Mobile equipment hygiene

Hygiene is, of course, a top priority for any devices introduced to the healthcare setting. Healthcare-associated infections (HCAIs) continue to pose a threat to patients, staff and visitors. Infection prevention and control is key to reducing cost and morbidity risks. Constructed using durable and disinfectant-ready materials, Zebra’s mobile printers are quick and easy to clean between each use, eliminating the transmission of harmful bacteria.

Mobile printers are an essential part of most healthcare settings today. Healthcare professionals need to be able to produce accurate labels and documentation on the go. Using mobile printing technology enables healthcare organisations to improve patient safety at the point of care.

Posted by Zoe on 21st October 2019.