The medical laboratory needs labels that are resistant to the effects of coming into contact with chemicals, refrigeration, other experimentations, testing and research procedures. Some of the solutions are xylene-resistant labels, alcohol-resistant labels, labels designed to withstand extreme temperatures.

Advantages of barcodes

Labels allow you to uniquely identify things, allowing you to efficiently track samples, organize things better in order to efficiently use storage space and easier archiving of information. Here are some more advantages.

  • They improve efficiency: With barcodes, information can be recorded faster and more accurately. They enable more efficient archiving and tracking of things so as to enable faster response to inquiries.
  • Easier inventory taking: It takes significantly less time to scan barcodes than to write down the incoming sample product cords.
  • Reduces clerical errors: In the medical industry, clerical errors can cause serious consequences. For example, blood samples can get mixed up, wrong chemicals can be used in experiments and wrong prescriptions can be made. Barcodes are more reliable because of their negligibly small likelihood of error. Depending on the type of barcode used, this can be (1 in 36 trillion characters).
  • Enables organizations to meet regulatory and customer requirements. Customers and trade regulatory bodies can impose labeling requirements that an organization needs to meet. While this might not be critical to an organization’s operations, it is important for customer satisfaction.

Barcodes can be utilized in the laboratory in various forms. Five of barcode labeling types are outlined below.

Uses of barcode labels in the laboratory

1. Cryogenic labels: These labels are designed to withstand extremely low temperatures for a longest time possible. They stick very well to small tight vials and are very good for labeling samples used in Microbiology, Virology, Genetics and Forensics.

2. Vial and bag labels: They are usually used for blood bags, test tubes, vials and IV bags. They usually find their application in Chemistry and Hematology laboratories.

3. Plate tablets: Can withstand high temperatures and can hold up to repeat freeze and thaw cycles. They are suitable for micro-titer plates, micro-well plates and micro assay plates. They are used in laboratories doing Drug discovery work.

4. Slide labels: This need to be resistant to chemicals such as alcohol Dymethyl sulfoxide(DMSO) and xylene. They are also resistant to stains.

5. Paraffin cassette labels: Made to resist chemicals (fixatives such as formalin) and are often used in slide accessioning. They are used to label paraffin-embedded tissue blocks used in Histology and Pathology.