Laboratory labeling might seem like just a small part of an overall huge operation, but when you consider the information these labels carry, it becomes a much more  critical step—one you want to get right. When done correctly, labels provide necessary information, increase efficiency, and keep everything organized and accounted for. When done wrong, they become a catalyst for an operation gone awry. Specimens can be mislabeled, processes can be disrupted, and all the necessary information your operation relies on can be lost.

To ensure your operation doesn’t succumb to disorganization, it’s important that your laboratory labeling processes are done correctly.

DO:

Use High-Quality Printed Labels

A high-quality label begins with the raw materials. Make sure you only use the highest-quality printed labels that are easy to read. A clear, visible print means fewer errors—especially when compared to hand-written labels or labels with a lot of text, which are vulnerable to human error. These are more cost-effective because they won’t need to be re-printed over and over.

Use Barcodes to Track Specimens

Implementing barcoding into your laboratory labeling processes creates an easy-to-use and easy-to-understand system that streamlines specimen management. By scanning barcode labels, you can automate tracking processes and stay organized.

Work with a label provider to ensure you are using the right label for the right job

Using the right labels for your application is important, but it’s not always clear which ones are best. Make sure you work with a reputable label provider. These professionals are experts on labels and labeling solutions, and can help your operation create the laboratory labeling solutions you need, and provide guidance to make it easier.

DON’T:

Handwrite Labels

Not only are handwritten labels difficult to read—they’re also unreliable. Regular ink from pens and markers can smear, and handwriting is easily misread, which creates errors. Printed labels are much more reliable, easy to read, and accurate.

Don’t Forget the Barcode

The barcode itself is one of the most important aspects of your label. Barcodes are prevalent everywhere for how effective they are at tracking—almost every label you encounter on food has a barcode, so why not your lab specimens?

It’s estimated that an error is made once every two hundred keystrokes—switching to barcodes can significantly reduce the rate of error. Barcoding has an error rate of about one in three million serial barcode scans, and one in ten million two-dimensional barcode scans. This level of accuracy goes a long way to protect the integrity of your lab.

Purchase the Wrong Label

Labels come in many forms, and each one is best suited to a specific application. Make sure you are purchasing the right label for your application. Your color combination needs enough contrast to be readable, and the adhesive needs to stick well to the surfaces you are labeling. Make sure your laboratory labeling solution is correct for your operation as well.

If you aren’t sure which labeling solution is right for you, speak with an industry expert at Informs today! Informs, Inc. offers a wide array of labels and labeling solutions for almost any industry. Our team of experts is well-versed on the ins and outs of labeling, and can identify the best solution for you.

To learn more about the solutions we offer and how you can increase efficiency and accuracy in your laboratory labeling processes, contact Informs today.