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Case Study: Hospital Bar Code Label Solution

Golden West Medical Center

Golden West Medical Center


Medical Labeling Case Study

IntelliTech International

With a patient base in excess of 60,000, the Golden West Medical Center bariatric (weight loss) center has treated about one in every 15 residents of Tucson, Arizona. This busy facility opened its doors in 1984 and has grown to become the largest weight loss center in Arizona by delivering friendly and courteous service from a skilled team of healthcare professionals with over 83 years of combined experience. The center provides outpatient care for weight management, smoking cessation and other health needs, and prides itself on the use of safe, effective medications combined with expert guidance in proper dietary habits.

 

Challenges: To replace antiquated dot-matrix printers with networked high-resolution thermal transfer printers to generate prescription and appointment labels.

Solutions: Printing barcoded labels from several networked IntelliBar M48 Net100 printers for diverse patient needs including medication bottles, patient ID and referral cards, and equipment management. 

Results: Increased levels of patient satisfaction with “high tech” barcoding scans, more referrals, and improved accuracy in dispensing medication, accounting, and patient records.

 
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Challenges
 
When Golden West Medical Center’s General Manager, Roger Bull, started working at the center, he was dealing with antiquated software and unreliable dot-matrix printers.  Then, according to Roger, “The older server crashed and that software, written thirty years ago, was a dead language, so we rewrote it and that’s when we switched over to the newer system.”  At the same time, Roger realized that those dinosaur printers just weren’t getting the job done, creating challenges with:

 

  • Finding the right labels to wrap around prescription bottles

  • Using labels that allow patients to see into the bottles

  • Printing a large volume of labels without constant hardware problems

 

"We switched to laser printers and I converted some of the old software," says Roger, "but we still couldn't do laser labels without printing the entire sheet.  We needed something that could give us rolled labels so we could dispense them individually."  




Roger noticed other issues with patient documentation and workflow that required his attention, including:
 
  • Patient sign-in procedures weren’t as efficient as they could be
  • Occasionally, staff would confuse patient names and generate erroneous paperwork trails
  • Addressing functions, especially as related to billing, were cumbersome

Solutions

Golden West Medical Center purchased an IntelliBar M48 Net100 printer on a test basis and Roger was more than pleased with the results.  Subsequently he wrote custom software to network more printers across the office's Macintosh platform.  Today, using generic LaserJet III drivers, printing instructions are sent to the server which creates a PDF that’s “dumped” to the printer.  The Intellibar M48 Net 100 prints high-quality labels in moderate to high volume, up to 4.25" wide and 99" long, with 300 x 300 dpi resolution at speeds of 8 inches per second (the equivalent of 44 letter-size pages per minute).

 

Implementing this solution has allowed Golden West Medical Center to: 

  • Improve patient sign-in procedures; patients now carry a barcoded card that they can simply swipe into a scanner for their appointments
  • Create new patient referral cards, using business cards with barcoded labels, patients receive credit incentives from referrals, and from being referred
  • Print and affix custom labels to prescription medication bottles, ensuring dispensing accuracy
  • Generate precise, barcoded address labels for accurate billing and notifications
  • Ensure precise materiel management through barcoded labeling  

"We're very happy we found IntelliBar printers…and the service and support have been wonderful.  Using your printers has increased our efficiency and reduced our costs significantly.  Even the intangibles…it gives the impression of being a very high tech, very efficient practice.  Patients love not having to sign in when they arrive.  They just come in, swipe their card and that little confirmation screen says thank you, have a seat, we'll call you shortly...and that has increased our bottom line.  It keeps our patients happier and keeps them coming back."  - Roger Bull, IT

 

Results

Thanks to the IntelliTech solution, Golden West Medical Center has:

  • Enhanced patient satisfaction through more efficient sign-in procedures 
  • Created new ways to promote and expand their practice 
  • Eliminated costly sign-in errors that create unnecessary paperwork trails 
  • Ensured the safe and accurate dispensing of prescription medication 
  • Improved the generation of accurate barcoded address labels  
  • Increased their bottom line

"Using the IntelliBar M48 printers is what kick-started us into switching the entire operation," Roger says, "from patient information sheets to progress notes to billing to prescription labels, they all have barcodes now for the system."



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