Are extreme weather events occurring more frequently? Stories about floods, hurricanes, tornadoes, fires and other weather related events appear with increasing frequency in our news feeds. And, it’s not just hyperbole. The U.S. government’s national climate assessment found weather extremes are on the upswing. For example, very heavy precipitation events that cause flooding have increased significantly since 1991. Plus, Atlantic hurricane activity is escalating. In addition, these threats don’t just impact coastal regions, instead they affect most areas of the country. So as extreme conditions become the norm, the importance of hospital emergency management planning increases along with it.
In many ways, for the millions of people who take a prescription drug, the directions on a medication label can feel like a foreign language. Take medication names; many are difficult to read and pronounce. Further, understanding the complexities of dosage, drug interactions and contraindications, even when medication instructions are well documented, is difficult. And, that problem worsens when they appear in small print on the prescription label. The fact is, an adverse drug effect is an all too common outcome for people who take prescription drugs. That’s why a medication instruction label is so valuable. It is the flashlight in a dark room that allows a patient to illuminate essential information reducing the potential for adverse drug effects.
It’s the same every season. Each year, from October to May, thousands of people get sick with an avoidable illness. Even with increased awareness and easy access to vaccinations, a high percentage of the population risk getting sick rather than taking steps to remain healthy. Yes, it’s flu season. And although you won’t convince everyone to get a vaccination, flu labels can provide a friendly social influence encouraging more people to get a flu shot and reduce the impact of the illness.
Medical errors are a leading cause of mortality in human hospitals. But, do they present similar problems for veterinarians and animals? Although there are numerous studies in human medicine that evaluated the cause and severity of those errors, that same data is less available on the veterinary side. However, a recent study conducted at veterinary hospitals sheds light on medical errors and where they are likely to occur. What’s more, whether you are treating humans or animals, the study found that medication errors are the most common problem. And just as labels prevent medication errors in human hospitals, with effective use and placement, they can prevent medication errors in veterinary practices as well.
It’s easy to see how a mistake can happen in the veterinary operating room. Overbookings, distractions, interruptions, or just plain being tired all contribute to adverse outcomes. Although avoiding these challenges requires ongoing diligence, effective processes can eliminate other preventable errors and ensure better veterinary OR outcomes.
Surgical facilities provide life-saving healthcare. But, they also create life-threatening biohazard, chemical hazard and infection prevention challenges that threaten the safety of both patients and the clinical staff. Consequently, improving patient safety in the surgical environment is essential to effective patient care.
From annual exams to other routine care, when pets visit a veterinary practice, prescribing a medication isn’t always an outcome of the appointment. But, for a sick or injured animal, it is often an essential part of the treatment. And when medication dispensing in the veterinary office is required, so is effective labeling. It guides owners, helping to ensure their pet gets the right dosage at the right time. Plus, they alert the veterinary staff, preventing miscommunication and potentially damaging medication errors.
When you don’t feel well, who wants to leave the comforts of their home to visit a doctor’s office? And, the convenience of consulting a healthcare professional from your home is one of the reasons telemedicine is a growing healthcare alternative to doctor visits. Although that trend is still emerging for veterinarians, pet owners value that same ease of access. So, if you offer that service today or plan to consider it in the future, connecting with the patient electronically isn’t the only consideration. There are medical record and medication labeling steps that remain an important part of the process.
Healthcare labels. They don’t make the list when C-level executives meet to discuss cost controls. And, because of a spend that’s less significant than medical devices or personal protection equipment, healthcare labels often don’t get attention from the supply chain team. But, like their higher expenditure brethren, when managed effectively there are steps you can take to impact costs and ensure effective patient care.
A single source does not automatically translate into reducing hospital supply chain costs. But the right single source provides you leverage to meet cost reduction objectives. From unit cost savings, SKU reductions, better material selection, waste reduction and more, an effective label provider can help you reduce costs and improve the service you provide to internal departments. But, is it worth your time? With numerous commodities to manage and other priorities that limit your time, does a single source healthcare label provider truly impact your costs and help you meet supply chain goals?