Although positive patient identification is a crucial first step, it’s only one of the many actions required to prevent specimen identification errors. In fact, with variables that include laboratory information systems (LIS), fluid and tissue samples, internal and external labs, pneumatic tubes, bio bags, and manual and automated laboratory testing, it’s an extensive workflow. But there is a constant that encompasses each step of the process. It’s a laboratory label. An information billboard that enables effective handling at each stage. What’s more, when designed properly, laboratory labels help prevent specimen identification errors and other processing challenges that impact patient safety and health system costs.
Unfortunately, the impact that the coronavirus, COVID-19, may have on us, our community and the nation is unknown. Will travel restrictions increase? Will business and school closures become the norm? What impact will the virus have on our jobs, the economy and our daily life? The fact is we don’t know. But here’s what’s likely. It won’t just go away in a month or two. Instead, it will take time to understand the impact. Time to develop a vaccine and determine how we can prevent it in the future. It will force us to remain aware of our surroundings and be diligent in finding ways to minimize the virus’s spread. Meanwhile, here’s one thing we do know. The same steps that we use to minimize our exposure to influenza and other viruses are also effective coronavirus infection prevention strategies.