Patient Wristbanding: Thermal vs. Laser Barcode Printing

While we’ve often discussed the advantages of barcoding patient wristbands in hospitals, you may not know the advantages of thermal barcode wristband printing vs. laser.

Enhanced Patient Safety
Thermal printed barcode wristbands do not require toner. Printheads create images by burning small squares atop a coated label media or ribbon, resulting in a crisp, sharp image. Laser printers do not offer good edge definition, and laser output is prone to flaky toner that can smudge, which leads to low image quality and thus repeated scan attempts, risking patient safety and staff productivity.

Total Cost of Ownership
Since wristband printers can be a significant investment, many hospitals choose to just add an additional tray to their existing laser printer with the thought process that it will keep costs low. However, many printers will require an upgrade to accommodate the addition tray, and the tray may exceed current space available. On the other hand, thermal wristband printer is comparable in price to the laser tray, and less expensive than purchasing a new laser printer and are small and compact, enhancing work flow.

Easy to Use
Thermal barcode wristband printing eliminates the need for time-consuming lamination and wristband assembly, and since no toner is used, it never runs out or needs to be replaced like laser printers.

These advantages make the patient wristband printing process faster, more efficient and more cost effective.

For more information on barcode printers, learn more here.