Increased patient safety thanks to innovative medication labelling

Kreisklinikum Siegen uses ColorWorks C3500 printer

Increased patient safety thanks to innovative medication labelling

The constant improvement in standards of quality is a guiding principle at the hospital Kreisklinikum Siegen. The introduction of ColorWorks C3500 printers with PraxiKett® Designer software for printing colour labels for all medications as specified by the German Federation for Intensive and Emergency Medicine (DIVI) is a milestone.

Previously, all printing at the Kreisklinikum Siegen was done in black and white on standard, white paper labels. It wasn't possible to make labels that satisfied DIVI recommendations, partly because of the colour requirements. The label contents were also incomplete and sometimes had to be finished by hand – mostly with the drug's brand or manufacturer name. In addition, storing the label rolls in patient rooms or wards was no longer in line with current best practice, for reasons of hygiene and also because of the increased procurement costs.

"During the construction of a new intensive care unit we discussed the need for a consistent and safe medication labelling system and quickly agreed that we wanted to use the new DIVI labelling standard in future," explains Peter Wissenbach, Nursing Manager of the intensive care unit at Kreisklinikum Siegen. They were looking for a fast, uncomplicated procedure for making labels, which needed to pose no risk of confusion and offer the highest possible standard of safety. The internal project group at Kreisklinikum Siegen decided to test the medication software PraxiKett® Designer with a ColorWorks C3500 printer in the intensive care unit. Doctors and nursing staff were won over by the practicality of the colour medication labels in their everyday work. "We were particularly impressed by Designer's fast and uncomplicated print workflow in combination with the Epson printer," says Peter Wissenbach. "The required label is printed according to the individual needs with a single click." Moreover, the ink used in the ColorWorks C3500 ensures, in addition to high print quality, that the labels are smudge and water-resistant and therefore extremely hard-wearing. This prevents any risk of confusion between medications and increases the safety of staff when working with prepared medications, for the patients' benefit."

Individual medication labels in line with DIVI guidance

Since July 2014, the combination of the ColorWorks C3500 printer and PraxiKett® Designer software has been regularly used in the intensive care, intermediate care (IMC) and anaesthesia units at Kreisklinikum Siegen. The software contains a catalogue of more than 500 standardised, colour syringe and perfusor labels in accordance with current DIVI guidance. In addition, all standard labels are printed with the DIVI syringe label code (DSEC), which encodes all essential information as a 10-character alphanumerical 2D data matrix code. All medication labels are printed out via the software, either directly in the required quantity and combination or customised according to individual needs. Additional functions such as the automatic printing of initials and date of manufacture are also available. "This application doesn't only significantly reduce expenses, but it also ensures that label printing is standardised throughout the clinic," says Wissenbach. Because the new solution is very user-friendly and easy to use, no extensive training is needed to get administrators and users up to speed with the solution. All available functions were explained by an adviser and demonstrated with reference to practical applications before the system was first used. The ColorWorks C3500 printer produces labelling for perfusors and also for tubes by means of a special tube label. In addition to the ColorWorks printers, a WorkForce Pro Business inkjet printer is also in use at the clinic. A WorkForce Pro WP-4015 DN is used for prints in the anaesthesia department. Upcoming procedures are printed using pre-defined printed lists on A4 and A5 sheets. Thanks to the integrated matrix code, there's now nothing preventing the use of labels on pumps or in the operating theatre. "Thanks to the combined solution from Epson and PraxiKett®, we're significantly simplifying our processes and optimising workflows. Experiences across all departments have been positive," concludes Peter Wissenbach.

The system was installed by:

Mediaform Informationssysteme GmbH
D-21453 Reinbek

Telephone: +49 40 72 73 60 0
Fax: +49 40 72 73 60 27

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