Specimen or Sample Tracking refers to the system by which a patient’s sample is labelled and moved through the testing process before the correct diagnosis result is communicated to them by a physician. A successful sample tracking system will provide relevant personnel at any point in time with information on:
- The sample’s whereabouts
- Which patient the sample belongs to
- Which stage of testing the sample is at
Common problems with Sample Tracking
- Misdiagnosis is the primary concern of most healthcare professionals and is often attributed to samples which have not been labelled correctly.
- Mislabelling or mishandling of samples leads to stress and can result in additional testing being required causing huge delays in treatments and increasing costs.
- A mislabelled and unidentified sample could lead to the wrong treatment or even no treatment at all.
Accurate patient and specimen identification can improve outcomes
In many sample testing laboratories samples are still labelled by hand, which can lead to several common problems including a lack of transparency across the system, or difficulty finding where the sample is at in a particular point in time.
As instantaneous data retrieval is at the heart of the healthcare system, an inability to identify and comment on the status of a specific sample can cause communication issues, as well as delays in the completion of the testing process.
Developing Barcode-Assisted Sample Tracking in your Facility
VisionID can audit your facility to gain insight into your current sample tracking system, so we can recommend steps you can take to improve it. Barcode-assisted sample tracking can automate the data capture process, which improves the accuracy of your data whilst speeding up day-to-day tasks.
- Improved Patient Safety – reduce the risk of misidentifying samples with our proven solutions for labelling and positively identifying patients.
- Enhanced Productivity - give your lab staff the equipment they need to tackle their workflow and volume with our internal infrastructure solutions from Zebra.
- Easier Lab Sample Tracking - you may wish to look at your sample tracking system yourself to pre-emptively identify those areas which may benefit from upgrading to barcode technology. Each step in the sample diagnosing process is a complex challenge and requires a high level of accuracy.
VisionID supplies full-scale bespoke sample tracking solutions, designed to suit the needs of your laboratory. The most common solution to sample tracking is using a barcode system to track each sample and ensure information stays within the central database. There have been recent developments in the realm of Radio Frequency Identification (RFID) technology, which we also champion for use in sample tracking, thanks to its non-contact scanning capabilities.
RFID tagging is an ideal solution for tagging in a clinical environment, as it allows for non-contact data retrieval and amendment. This reduces the margin of human error more than barcode labelling does, as even though barcodes are primarily an automatic technology, they still require human scanning and categorisation. Additionally, a barcoded sample tracking system does not minimise the amount of human handling that the sample must undergo.
The data on the tag integrates with the internal systems used within the lab and means all relevant parties know the status of the sample at all times and can access their databases to view progress or alerts.