Preprinted Drug Labels Increase Reliability and Reduce Risk

Drug labels in hospitals provide important information regarding each administered medication. This includes the drug name, unit dosage, and in some cases patient specific details. The identification data helps staff members quickly verify the medication and dosage for administration. Hospitals have the option to use blank or preprinted identification options for medicine management.

Many environments still use blank labels, which are written on by the staff before it is placed on the container, IV bag, syringe, or tubing. Blank choices are still common in sterile environments where the information is recorded in other locations as well. Preprinted labels are designed with lines and headers to make it easier for the individual to know where the information should go. They may also be printed with more details to avoid the hassles of hand writing variances.

The Drawbacks of Handwritten Labels

Handwritten labels do provide the benefit of picking up a pen or marker and quickly jotting down the drug information; however, they have proven to be unreliable. The choice is an open invite for the following problems:

  • Difficult to Read – Writing may smudge, it varies, and there is more room for error. The chance of a misread us much higher.
  • Incorrect Dosing – It is easier to write the wrong dosage or unit information on the container, syringe, etc.
  • Medication Administration Errors – The wrong brand or generic name might be placed on the label resulting in patient harm.

With a handwritten label, the ink can smear making it impossible to know what the medicine is or the unit dose. If the individual is not familiar with the handwriting, they will most likely misread the information. Additionally, it is easier to place the wrong information on the label or to experience other repetitive errors. Preprinted drug labels reduce the chance of smudging, offer high print quality, and allow the information to be quickly read.

The Pros of Preprinted Identification Markers

Preprinted drug labels are an exceptional choice for routine medication applications such as pre-defined doses because they make the item readily available. One of the biggest benefits is the print quality offered by this option because it automatically delivers the following advantages:

  • No Smudging
  • Clear Text
  • Consistent Font
  • Better Use of Labeling Area
  • Protective Qualities

Preprinted options decrease the chance of a transcription error during storage and administration. They also reduce the amount time it takes to interpret what has been written on the label. The reader does not have to decode the information nor do they have to spend time rewriting correct information when something is wrong.

The types of materials and inks used to create preprinted drug labels will have an impact on their legibility, durability, and effectiveness. For example, some materials will not work as well for medicines that must be stored in cold environments. These qualities should be discussed with an experienced provider to ensure the supplied labels are capable of withstanding exposure to certain conditions. At Shamrock Labels, we offer many material and design choices for preprinted drug labels. If you are considering the switch from handwritten identification, we would love to discuss how our solutions can help you get there! Give us a call at (800) 323-0249 or fill out our contact form!

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