Barcode tracking in Hospitals.

The transport manager of a large hospital complex manages pickup and delivery of items, from sometimes around 50-60 sites within the trust, using vans for pickup and drop-off. The type of items that need transporting include medical equipment, vaccines, specimens, controlled drugs, patient records, parcels and linen.

In a tracking system the main question to sort out is the numbering system and how the numbers are applied to the various types of packages and how to get the numbers onto the various items. Given the large number of sites, each needs to have a numbering system that ensures that numbers are not duplicated across the sites. Whilst envelopes with pre-printed barcodes can be used, they can prove expensive and a cheaper way of doing it safely is to use small labels produced in sequential numbering series, with each of the sites having their own sets of reels with a site prefix. A thermal printer produces the labels centrally.

The linen laundry application receives dirty linen in from the clinics to the goods in at the central depot. It is then sent out to an external laundry contractor and returned to the central depot for issue out on the vans to the clinics. The linen has several subtypes – sheets, pillowcases etc and is bundled up into acts of say 20 sheets. You would use a single number to identify the bundle.

For details of the PASS system that operates all of above click here.