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Phlebotomy Supervisor Mary Allen, with Senior Phlebotomist Sharon Bontoft holding one of label printers.

Bar coding has replaced time consuming handwriting in the hospital’s phlebotomy section of the pathology department, thanks to £9,288 grant from the Friends. Previously staff had to laboriously write out several times details of each patient on blood collection tubes. Now, with the purchase of ten label printers their task has become much easier. Each patient has his or her own identity bar code, which is read by a hand-held printer. Details can then simply be printed out on a sticker. Thanking the Friends, Phlebotomy Supervisor Mary Allen said, “Writing out details was both time consuming and physically demanding, due to frequently having to bend over in a hunched position. These printers simply print out all the required information on a sticker, taking a lot of strain out of the job of phlebotomy. “As a patient – whether in the phlebotomy section or on the wards – could have an average of two or three tubes, you can imagine just how much effort is involved.”

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