What is LabelTrace?

LabelTrace is a labelling system for healthcare professionals that request, administer or carry out laboratory testing for patients. It enables quick and easy labelling of test request forms and tubes. This information can be printed in text or encoded into a barcode. The labels can also be used for other tasks including pre-printing details on patient forms.

What does LabelTrace do?

LabelTrace uses label printing technology to:

  • Significantly reduce the amount of time taken to complete patient test request forms by replacing handwriting with a printed label. The information on the label is taken directly from the clinical system. This can result in appointment times being reduced by half.
  • Reduce errors in labelling of test results by creating and printing text or bar coded labels for test request forms and test tubes, ensuring accuracy and legibility of information;
  • Reduce time taken to process test requests by using scanning devices to obtain all the necessary information which is automatically transferred to the PAS.

How much training is required to operate LabelTrace?

Very little training is required to enable GPs, Doctors and Nurses to operate the LabelTrace system. Because the software integrates with existing patient record systems, once the hardware has been set-up, users can normally learn to use LabelTrace in minutes. Often a simple email with instructions is all that is required.

Does it require specialist installation?

It is recommended that the initial installation is carried out by LabelTrace trained installation staff, but subsequent hardware and software additions can often be made by users themselves. As with most software and hardware applications today, the installation requires very little computer knowledge and is often completed by Practice Managers or administrators.

Are there any specific PC/operating system requirements?

  • A PC or 100% compatible computer running Microsoft Windows 2000 or later.
  • Hard Disk - 5 MBytes of free disk space.
  • A VGA graphical screen or better.

How big are the printers?

The Zebra ZD410 compact desktop printer has a very small footprint, measuring only 220mm (length) x 115mm (width) x 151mm (height).

Can I use any other makes of label?

You can, but bear in mind our media has been developed and refined for over 12 years to have the right material and adhesive qualities to avoid problems such as jamming at the labs. The size is optimised for both request forms and standard tubes and the perforation is just right for ease of use without tearing. We therefore strongly recommend you use our media.

Will LabelTrace work with any printer?

LabelTrace will work with any printer that supports the EPL printer command set. That means the print speed, print size and quality is strictly controlled. We deliberately avoid using windows drivers as the time to print is relatively slow and the print size adjusted and often distorted which can cause scanning problems at the labs. Taking into account initial purchase price and ongoing media costs the Zebra printer offers the best value over the long term.

Can the label format be changed? The lab would like them to contain their own references.

The LabelTrace label format is always pre-approved by the labs and can contain additional information to assist with quicker data entry to make their lives easier.

Does the tube label contain barcodes that will interfere with the tracking labels used by the labs?

No - the tube label formats are variable and are approved by the labs. Barcodes are optional and don't need to be included. The label is small and allows room for the lab label to be added too. A gap is still available to view the tube content.

Will the tube labels jam the centrifuge?

Millions of labels have passed through labs since LabelTrace was first developed 12 years ago. There has been no reported occurrence of a jam.

Will the laboratory I use be able to decode the labels I print?

Yes, the label format is completely flexible and is different for the request forms and tubes. Any field can be bar coded (1D or 2D) and there are a range of fonts to choose from.

We already use barcode scanners for data input. Could they be used with these labels?

Yes. The patient NHS number can be barcoded on the request form label for example. The barcode symbology used can be changed to match your barcode scanner configuration.

How do we get the label format changed?

The label format is usually agreed after consultation between the labs and the practices. This can be facilitated by Codegate, who can assist with changing the design by mutual agreement. Once the label template is agreed it can be deployed to all practices feeding the lab.

Our practices use different clinical systems. Can LabelTrace be used with all of them?

LabelTrace works in conjunction with all principal GP clinical systems, including EMIS WEB, TPP SystmOne, INPS Vision and Microtest. The labels produced in each case are identical.

Can you come and give us a demonstration?

Because of the low pricing structure of LabelTrace it is not cost effective for us to visit and demonstrate to individual practices. However for larger groups, for example CCGs, CSUs or Practice Partner meetings, we would be pleased to attend with a presentation.