Whether you’re working in a small university research lab or for a large pharmaceutical company, saving money is a key priority. This includes saving on small expenditures, like labels, which can add up over time. Unfortunately, saving money isn’t as easy as pushing a button. Below you’ll find some tips you can follow to reduce costs when choosing your ideal labeling solution.
Healthcare institutions tend to use diverse systems for labeling specimens, each incorporating fail-safes at different levels of collection and processing. Many hospitals practice the Swiss cheese model of error prevention, using multiple layers (or fail-safes) to cover up any possible holes, preventing errors from slipping through.1 When it comes to reducing labeling errors, researchers have identified several types of interventions that act as additional fail-safes, many of them incorporating modern technology, such as barcodes, radio frequency identification (RFID), and automated systems.
For Part 1 of the series, detailing the costs of labeling errors in the clinic, click here.
Studying the real-time effects of labeling errors in the lab is extremely difficult. Billions of patient specimens, including blood and urine samples, as well as biopsies taken from multiple tissues and organs, are continually processed on a daily basis in clinical labs. Fortunately, several large-scale studies throughout the last 20 years have attempted to shed light on the clinical consequences of labeling errors in an effort to improve patient care and reduce healthcare costs worldwide.
Polymerase chain reaction (PCR) is one of the most commonly performed laboratory procedures. This technique, used to amplify DNA or RNA sequences, is integral to a host of industries and environments, including healthcare, research, forensics, and agriculture. This powerful technique can be used to measure levels of gene activation, discover mutations in samples from patients with cancer, and identify sources of bacterial infection. However, despite recent advances in PCR technology, labeling PCR tubes remains problematic.
The continued globalization of clinical trials has created a new set of strategic, administrative, and linguistic challenges. This is in addition to the progressively more complex regulatory environment that the pharmaceutical industry must contend with, both locally and abroad. The use of labeling plays an important part in addressing these challenges but is often overlooked. Here, we will review some of the more prominent difficulties encountered during the clinical trial process and how the proper labeling solution can help.
As the complexity of pre-clinical and clinical testing has increased over the last decade, labs have been challenged with collecting, processing, and storing more and more samples on a daily basis. To minimize errors and keep lab efficiency strong, labs depend on robust identification solutions, consisting of high-quality barcode labels, tags, and tapes. The laboratory environment has been characterized by ongoing rapid and dramatic innovation, including the implementation of high-throughput techniques that often require the labeling of large amounts of small sample tubes, such as cryovials, microtubes, and PCR tubes.
In our previous post we introduced the basics of how Radio-Frequency Identification (RFID) works. We also briefly touched upon the way it might help researchers in the lab. Here we will go more in depth over the many uses for this novel technology in the research environment.
Previously, we established that thermal printers are ideal for printing barcodes. The use of barcodes has multiple advantages, including improved data management and lower costs. With a wide range of uses, barcodes can be used everywhere from retail stores, to hospitals, and industrial work sites. However, barcode labels are not one size fits all, with different types of 1D and 2D barcodes each having their specific uses. Here we’ll give a brief overview of the different options available, to help you chose the barcode that will best suit your needs.