St George's Hospital, part of St George's Healthcare NHS Trust in London, is one of the country's largest teaching hospitals treating more than 500,000 patients across the South East of England every year.
In addition to providing patient care, staff at St George's Hospital are also responsible for the manufacture and distribution of prescription medicines onsite, serving its patients and those from other hospitals within the wider NHS Trust. Hospital staff need to ensure medicines can be identified and classified correctly; therefore accurate labelling of in-house manufactured medicine is essential.
Previously at St George's, labelling was carried out using 'thermal ribbon' technology, which leaves an imprint of the label on the printing ribbon and therefore carries a risk of jeopardising data security. As a result, all ribbons had to be destroyed under strict control conditions to meet data security protocols. 'Thermal ribbon' technology is also unable produce the clarity on small labels that an inkjet printer would provide, so they therefore needed a product which offered improved quality and security.
Providing a solution
The hospital was looking for a high-quality, cost-effective, colour label printing solution that could also resolve the data security issue caused by the thermal ribbon printer technology. After consultation with the hospital, Epson recommended the installation of three Epson TM-C3400 colour label printers.
This solution enabled:
Patient confidentiality is hugely important in the hospital environment and any equipment used needs to ensure this is not jeopardised. The TM-C3400 label printer leaves no traces of what has been printed on the label, which eliminates the risk of any prescription details ending up in the wrong hands.
The option to print labels in colour is increasingly demanded by staff as colour printing can help Hospital employees to distinguish between medication label information - ensuring that the correct labelling instructions are supplied to the patient. The TM-C3400 can economically produce colour labels that are legible and error-free.
Speed, quality and peace of mind
With the busy nature of hospitals, staff have limited time for administrative tasks and need to be able to rely on technology. The TM-C3400 provides durable, quality printing and is one of the fastest desk top inkjet label printers available today, printing up to 1,000 labels per hour.
For further peace of mind, Epson worked with St George's Hospital to provide Epson's three year onsite warranty. The warranty provides an Epson service engineer within 24 hours of a call out, if any issues were to arise.
Hospitals are constantly trying to lower their outgoings - the Epson TM-C3400 prints up to 10,000 labels with a single ink cartridge. The printer also uses technology that cuts the roll of paper to whatever size is needed, avoiding any paper waste.
Integration and ease of use
The pharmacy has little space for equipment, but the TM-C3400 printer is perfect thanks to its compact design, which fits easily into a corner. Designed with the time-poor user in mind, the consumables (ink and paper) can be effortlessly exchanged and the technology is easy-to-use.
Steve Beale, Pharmacy IT Manager, St George's Hospital, said: "The Epson TM-C3400 has allowed our hospital to produce labels for prescription medication without compromising data security and at low costs. The technology is very easyto-use and the printer is so compact it takes up no additional space, ideal for our working environment."