Since, the publication of ‘To Err is Human’, by the Institute of Medicines’, Committee on Quality of Health Care in America, the silence surrounding medical errors was broken and reducing medical errors became a priority for the whole world. In laboratories, every analytical method has some amount of error which can be monitored, controlled and the analytical process can be improved, thanks to Levey- Jennings and Westgard rules.
But there are errors ‘out of the box’, if we investigate the pre-analytical phase, we see that every laboratory is unhappy in their own way. The path that a patient specimen takes to reach the analytical equipment inside any laboratory is unique depending on the blueprint of the laboratory setting. The problems tend to be unique, so are the solutions. This makes it challenging for companies to create value into the pre-analytical phase. The analytical phase has always witnessed advanced technology and improved automation. The evolving health-care market is changing the delivery of care and impacting how laboratories, clinicians, and hospitals supply these services. Digitization is the new trend in Indian in vitro diagnostics market. Hospitals and laboratories have started digitization across the value chain with more focused approach to take care of pre-analytical errors. Activities such as online bookings and home healthcare are increasing, probably, the start of a far more intricate and broader evolution.
It is well known that the largest component of variability lies in the pre-analytical phase with estimates suggesting that 60-75% of the total error may occur at this stage. Proper specimen labelling practices are critical components of effective and accurate patient identification. Accurate and timely labelling of specimens is an integral part of patient identification. It is critical because errors resulting from a failure in this step can, at best, provide results of no clinical value and, at worst, lead to the most adverse of patient outcomes.
When things go wrong in the pre-analytical phase, more expenses do occur, like the cost of redrawing the specimen where the phlebotomy labour and supplies are involved. Further, the cost of reanalysing the sample comes into picture. Moreover, there would be additional costs in the non-phlebotomy labour also, considering the additional nursing and physician time. When limited resources become an issue, even the best-trained, experienced staff member may deviate from proper and generally accepted practices.
Barcodes play a vital role in minimizing the risk of error in laboratory automation by providing proper tracking of components throughout the value chain. Barcoded lab automation can be simple and cost-effective, with significant paybacks. Barcodes can be used to trace everything from tubes and samples to trays, carousels and between different points of storage. Barcodes also simplify linkage of sample to result when using laboratory information systems (LIS) and hospital information systems (HIS). Traditional barcode labelling involves manual application of barcodes to tubes, vials and plates, a process which is tedious and prone to errors. The samples may need to be read by many scanners at each workstation, and proper tube identification depends on the labelling quality. Legacy systems may fail to read correctly if the barcode is not straight!
The new intelligent tube labelling system, Mispa Label designed and manufactured by Agappe Diagnostics Ltd., will help you get the barcodes placed rightly on to the blood collection tubes. Mispa Label can label blood tubes correctly and it ensures that you never go wrong with the A…B…C… of pre-analytics, which are Right Alignment, Right Barcode label and Right Collection tube. The right collection tube is selected automatically by the equipment through Intelligent Mechanical Drop (IMD) Technology. The patient identification data can be entered manually, through LIS or HIS or through external barcode reader and the equipment automatically generates the respective barcode and labels it on to the collection tube in the right alignment. Mispa Label is more secure as it works on Linux Operating System. With a throughput of 450 tube labels per hour, Mispa Label suits medium and high-end sample workload laboratories delivering quality outcome and operational efficiency. Chances of missing the sample tube type (Serum/Plasma/dedicated tubes) is zero because of automation. The barcode label is resistant to water hence chances of damage is less with zero rejection from fully automatic analysers.