Zebra Technologies has sold 125 million I.D. wristbands

June 3, 2010

Lincolnshire, Ill., June 2, 2010 — Zebra Technologies Corporation, a leader in specialty printing and automatic identification solutions, announced today that it has sold more than 125 million of its patient Z-band wristbands worldwide which will help prevent the number of  deaths that are caused by medical errors. 

More than 100,000 Americans die annually in U.S. hospitals because of avoidable medical errors, according to the Institute of Medicine (IOM), which also reports that medical errors rank as America’s eighth leading cause of death – higher than auto accidents or breast cancer. However, organizations like The Joint Commission are continuously committed to improving health care for the public by evaluating health care organizations and inspiring them to excel in risk-reduction activity.

“Since 1995, Zebra has been committed to the patients and healthcare facilities of the world by developing industry-leading thermal transfer technology that helps track patient and medication information, thereby reducing errors,” said Anders Gustafsson, chief executive officer,  Zebra Technologies. “Of the 125 million wristbands Zebra has sold, more than 50 percent were in the last 18 months. This increase can be directly tied to the dramatic rise in the adoption rate of bedside bar code medication administration, which requires scanning a patient’s wristband and then scanning the medication before administering it to the patient.”

Patient safety begins at the wrist with bar coded wristbands that enable healthcare practitioners to verify a correct match between the patient and medical treatment provided. Zebra’s Z-Band wristbands and direct thermal transfer printers continue to evolve in order to meet new demands of the healthcare industry and to ensure the Five Patient Rights (right patient, right medication, right dose, right time, and right method). Unlike dot matrix and laser printers, Zebra thermal printers produce crisp, clear print quality on all wristband and label sizes. This guarantees that the barcodes, which store patient health information such as name, blood type, allergies, primary physician and more, scan quickly and reliably for positive patient identification at the point of care.

Hospitals such as the Nebraska Medical Center in Omaha are getting positive, accurate scans the first time, so nurses and doctors can immediately turn their focus to the patient.

“Bar coded wristbands help us add a layer of patient safety that verifies and validates patient-specific information,” said Rosanna Morris, chief nursing officer for Nebraska Medical Center. “This patient ID technology facilitates the five rights of medication administration, and automates the two patient identifiers that we require. Now our nurses manually validate patient information and scan the patient wristband to ensure positive patient identification – protecting both the patient and the nurse.”

Many wristbands in use at hospitals today are made of materials that are easily degraded from smudging, liquids or hand sanitizer. Zebra’s unique Z-Band wristbands resist alcohol, water, foams, soaps and blood, and are also MRI certified meaning they pose no adverse reaction risk during MRIs.

For more information about Zebra’s solutions, visit http://www.zebra.com.

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