• Labeling. The package needs a catalog number, reorder number, product description, size, expiration, latex-free symbol, printing that tells if it's sterile or not, and the lot number.
• Package resemblance is a huge issue and can lead to errors if the package for one product looks like the package for another.
• Product waste. We need less waste materials, because the cost of disposal is a key. Reusable containers are good, and hospitals are trying to become environmental stewards.
• It's a lot easier for us to maintain information on CDs, rather than thick catalogs. We're also using the Internet much more frequently to look up product details, get information, and to order product.
Under the heading "Future Trends," Kiefer said "Materials directors seem to be excited about universal bar codes with handheld scanners to receive and dispense products to departments, and for department personnel to then use that to charge patients." [HCP]
By Jim Butschli, Editor