Patient wristbands and especially Zebra wristbands for identification is a major necessity, in the healthcare industry. Wristbands for patients are the easiest way to identify patients in healthcare facilities. Besides being color coded the pateint wrist bands may have different codes and information concerning a patient’s such as gender and the day he/she was admitted in the hospital, Age, allergies, etc. Zebra Technologies has a wide range of printers for producing wristbands suitable for all types of patients from infants to full grown adults, along with numerous printers somewhat selected by the term of stay.
A lot of considerations go into the Zebra printer to use to print patient wristbands. Will there be a variety of different wristband sizes and colors used? Are the wristbands to be subject to heat or direct sunlight? Will the wristbands be used for short term or long term patient stays? Will the wristbands need to have extremely small text or barcodes on it?
If wristbands will be used for long term patient care, then it is better to choose a thermal transfer printer instead of a direct thermal printer because the printed image lasts longer. Thermal transfer is used where long term durability is a concern and more chemicals will be introducted over time, such as hand sanitisers. Thermal transfer printing is done by heating a carbon ribbon that applies an image to the wristband. Direct thermal printers simply heat the wristband itself creating a darkened image.
Direct thermal printers can be used in situations like outpatient clinics where patients will not need to be identified longer than the few hours. These wristbands printed with direct thermal printing technology will not last long in direct sunlight or heat as the material is very sensitive to heat and will darken making the printed image unreadable. Additionally, they are just not suitable for long-term stay.
If many different sizes and colors of wristbands are needed and it is a short term stay, the HC100 from Zebra provides the ability to have a quick transition from one color to another or one size to another. The HC100 prints the wristbands from preloaded cartridges that are easily loaded and ejected much like bread fits in a toaster. The direct thermal again will last only a few days and is not meant for long term.
If small compact text or barcodes are going to be used on the wristbands then the print quality is a large factor. Because printing with a ribbon results in a more clear and readable image a thermal transfer printer with high DPI (dots per inch) capability should be used for small text and barcodes. 300 DPI is the norm for hi-resolution printing.
Zebra thermal wristbands come in a variety of sizes and colors and may have either adhesive or secure clips for closing the wristband. Zebra also provides wristbands with protective antimicrobial coating to help cut down on the risk of transmitting disease or infection from patient to patient. Zebra patient wrist bands also have very superior resistance to hand sanitizers – a product very commonly used in hospitals and clinics.
With all the varieties of Zebra wristband labels and printers available, every healthcare facility will be able to find a Zebra wristband solution that fits their individual needs for patient identification.