Labeling blood and other samples at the time they are collected improves patient safety and helps prevent a host of problems related to misidentification ó including many of the estimated 160,900 adverse events that occur in U.S. hospitals annually because of sample identification errors.1 There is a strong and growing body of evidence within medical literature that creating specimen identification labels on demand at the patient bedside with a mobile printer can significantly reduce errors. The Joint Commissionís National Patient Safety Goals (NPSG) for 2010 advocate the use of two patient-specific identifiers, such as name and birthdate, whenever taking blood or other samples from
a patient, and to label the sample collection container in the presence of the patient. Producing specimen labels at the patient bedside and encoding patient identification in a barcode satisfies both The Joint Commissionís NPSG and Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act (HIPAA) requirements. This white paper explains the point-of care specimen labeling process, documents its benefits, outlines equipment and IT requirements, and provides tips for successful implementation.