Why Hospitals Are Standardizing Their Identification System


During peak hours, just about any hospital in the United States can look as busy as Grand Central Station at rush hour. Hospital staff, visitors, patients, doctors, nurses, and others are coming and going. Hospitals are busy places, and it is often hard to distinguish who is supposed to be there and who is supposed to be where. Along with security concerns, busy hospitals can lead to bottlenecks and inefficiencies with your workforce.

One way to get control over the many moving pieces is with an identification system that makes it easy for security and hospital personnel to identify the different groups of people in the hospital. In the past, hospital ID systems could be fragmented and disorganized. Some employees had one type of badge, others another. One type of printer printed some IDs, but another vendor-provided another printer for another group.

Hospitals are moving away from the disorganized approach and are standardizing their identification systems. The new solution means having standard printers and software, ID templates, and a single vendor who can provide excellent technical support when there’s a problem.

Security in Your Hospital

Having a standardized identification system is important for many reasons, but security is at the top of the list. While it’s unfortunate, violence against staff and trespassing do occur, along with other concerns. Hospitals have reacted to this by increasing budgets for security and behavior training, according to the American Society for Health Care Engineering’s (ASHE’s) 2018 Hospital Security Survey.

A critical area of the hospital security process is to have IDs for various groups (visitors, staff, etc.) that clearly identifies each person and allows staff and security to quickly determine if they have the necessary permission to be there. High-quality IDs give hospitals the means to identify potential threats and act accordingly quickly. ID badges also allow patients to immediately be at ease when interacting with staff members they haven’t met.

While no hospital wants to have the look and feel of a prison, taking a proactive approach to security must include both using standardized ID badges for your staff and implementing a visitor management system that requires visitors to sign in and provide personal identification. ID badges and a visitor management system alone can improve security substantially because unauthorized visitors likely won’t want to deal with security as soon as they arrive on campus.

Components of a Standardized ID system

While ID badges are great for staff, it’s probably not possible to print one for each patient. Our partner, Zebra Technologies, makes ID wristbands for patients. The thermal or direct-print laser hospital wristbands, named Z-bands, provide patient ID accuracy for both clinical and security operations, including patient identification for medicine administration, specimen collection, and more. There are also options to color code the Z-bands to help staff members identify if a patient has entered a floor or area where they do not have authorized access.

With high-quality IDs for employees, Zebra offers security features to meet the needs of your hospital. A basic ID could include the name, photo, title, and department. Like the wristband, you can use color-coding to help staff and security identify if people are in the right place. There are also options for smart cards, proximity cards, and cards that can give employees access to certain areas.

For your visitors, a common ID is to print out a label. But with Zebra’s catalog of badges, you can find the right one to integrate directly into your security system.
Many of our clients, like Houston Medical Center, use the Zebra ZXP Series 7 printer for their ID printing needs. The printer is fast and easy to set up. It issues secure, reliable IDs with high efficiency and can handle large printing jobs like those in hospitals. You can have multiple printers stationed throughout your hospital so you can always print on demand and get the proper ID on the right person quickly.

​Support When You Need It

The final issue to think about with your hospital ID system is technical support. Since hospitals are busy places with plenty of IDs being printed weekly, you need to ensure you can minimize downtime when there are printer issues. You also need to keep supplies in stock and get a fast response to your calls.

Newbart has worked in the ID industry for more the last 35 years. Our “Newbart Club” service agreement means convenience for our customers, accuracy on orders, and timely delivery. We also provide free service and support for customers who purchase their printer and supplies from us.We’ll minimize your downtime with the 24-hour turnaround time on all support, give you a free loaner if you need it, not charge you for any services or support (after initial installation fee), and provide many benefits for our customers. Don’t delay on standardizing your hospital ID system to ensure safety and security for your patients and staff. Give Newbart a call today at 800-777-2003 or email sales@newbart.com or visit newbartid.com.​