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Siemens Completes Acquisition of the System for Patient Identification and Specimen Management


Siemens Medical Solutions announced today that it has completed its acquisition from BD (Becton, Dickinson and Company) of certain intellectual property rights and other assets relating to the Patient Identification System for managing the specimen collection process.

This marks another milestone for Siemens as it demonstrates its leadership in helping customers to improve patient safety, enhance clinical workflow, and create a safer patient care environment. Improving safety, quality and efficiency in the specimen collection process is a key strategy as Siemens expands its newly-established presence in the in-vitro diagnostics (IVD) market.

The system streamlines and reduces the potential for error in the collection of blood, urine or other samples from patients by helping to confirm that the correct specimen is collected from the right patient. According to the Joint Commission on Accreditation of Healthcare Organization’s 2006 National Patient Safety Goals for Laboratory Services Program recommendations, healthcare providers can improve the accuracy of patient identification by using at least two patient identifiers whenever collecting laboratory samples or administering medications or blood products, and should use two identifiers to label sample collection containers in the presence of the patient. The system allows for both of these recommendations to be achieved.

With this patient identification system, mislabeling is avoided by both printing and applying specimen labels in the presence of the patient. Unlike other patient identification systems for specimen management, the system acquired from BD not only matches the patient to the test order and sample to collect, it also links the evacuated specimen tube type to the test ordered. In that way, the system helps to confirm that the appropriate specimen container is chosen, allowing the specimen to be correctly analyzed.

“Many adverse events can be prevented by using clinical information technology. The built-in checks and balances of positive patient identification, computerized physician order entry, and bar code and point-of-care technologies have proven to be effective tools in the detection and prevention of medical errors,” said Janet Dillione, president, Health Services, Siemens Medical Solutions Healthcare Information Technology Division. “The patient identification system from BD, together with Siemens’ Med Administration Check(TM), provides Siemens customers with an additional point-of-care technology to further the goal of connecting positive patient identifiers to everything that is given to or taken from a patient at the bedside.”

How the system Works

The system safeguards specimen collection and management by pairing sophisticated software with bedside bar-coding technology. When a collection order is entered, it is downloaded to the system server and transmitted to a handheld computer with a bar-code scanner. Before beginning a specimen collection, the healthcare professional scans his or her identification badge and then scans the patient’s wristband. The handheld device then displays the specimen collection orders for that patient. After the specimens are collected, the labels are individually printed and applied to the scanned tube while still in the presence of the patient. The label contains patient demographic information, the name of the healthcare professional who collected the specimen, the test and the container type, as well as the date and exact time of collection.


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