Selecting the Best Materials for Healthcare Labels: A Comprehensive Guide

Tuesday 23rd May 2023

In the healthcare industry, accurate and reliable labeling is crucial to ensure patient safety, regulatory compliance, and efficient workflow. Healthcare labels convey vital information about medications, medical devices, laboratory specimens, and patient records. Selecting the right materials for healthcare labels is essential to ensure their durability, readability, and adherence to various environmental conditions. Now let’s explore the key factors to consider when choosing materials for healthcare labels.

  1. Regulatory Compliance: Healthcare labels must comply with stringent regulatory requirements, such as those set forth by international standards like ISO 15223-1. These regulations may specify specific labeling materials and their performance characteristics. It is crucial to choose materials that meet these requirements to ensure legal compliance and patient safety.
  2. Durability and Resistance: Healthcare labels often encounter challenging environments, including exposure to moisture, chemicals, extreme temperatures, and frequent handling. The selected materials should exhibit excellent durability and resistance to withstand these conditions without compromising legibility or adhesion. Look for materials with properties such as water resistance, chemical resistance, UV resistance, and abrasion resistance.
  3. Adhesive Properties: The adhesive used for healthcare labels plays a significant role in their performance. Labels must adhere securely to various surfaces, including plastic containers, glass vials, and medical equipment, without falling off or leaving residue behind. Consider using adhesives that provide strong initial tack, excellent bonding strength, and compatibility with the surface materials to ensure reliable adherence.
  4. Printability and Readability: Clear and legible information on healthcare labels is vital for healthcare professionals to identify and administer the correct medications, treatments, or procedures. Select materials that are suitable for high-quality printing, such as thermal transfer or laser printing methods. Ensure the material's surface allows for crisp text, barcode readability, and accurate colour representation.
  5. Tamper-Evidence and Security: In healthcare, tamper-evident labels are essential to protect against unauthorized access, tampering, or counterfeiting of medication or equipment. Choose materials that provide tamper-evident features, such as destructible or void labels. These materials help healthcare providers quickly identify any tampering attempts, ensuring the integrity and safety of the labelled products.
  6. Compatibility with Sterilisation Methods: In healthcare settings, certain labels need to withstand sterilisation processes such as autoclaving, ethylene oxide (EtO) sterilisation, or gamma irradiation. If the labels will be exposed to sterilisation, select materials that can endure the specific sterilisation method without losing adhesion or print quality.
  7. Environmental Considerations: Sustainability and environmental impact are increasingly important factors in material selection. Look for options that are eco-friendly, recyclable, or made from renewable resources. Additionally, consider the disposal requirements for the labels, especially if they come into contact with biohazardous materials or substances.
  8. Cost-effectiveness: While quality and performance are paramount, it is also crucial to consider the cost-effectiveness of the label materials. Evaluate the overall lifecycle costs, including material cost, printing method, durability, and potential re-labeling needs. Striking a balance between quality and affordability ensures long-term savings without compromising critical labeling requirements.

Selecting the best materials for healthcare labels requires careful consideration of regulatory compliance, durability, adhesion, printability, tamper-evidence, sterilization compatibility, environmental impact, and cost-effectiveness. By taking these factors into account, healthcare providers can ensure the labels they use meet the necessary standards, enhance patient safety, and streamline healthcare operations.

Our range of quality labels:

Woven Labels. 

Our High Definition weaving pattern is a blend of all the weaving platforms with a definition of 60-65 picks/cm2. These quality damask labels are an excellent choice for displaying logos and fine text. 

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Printed Labels.

Polyester Satin is the benchmark for all printed labels - it has high levels of legibility and is washable. The satin lustre helps to promote a luxury high-sheen finish. There are coated and uncoated fabrics within this range to give your label the texture that you require. QR codes or Barcodes can be added for tracking information. 

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Antibacterial Labels.

The perfect multi-purpose label - brand your products, keep them clean and reduce unwanted odours, and environmentally friendly too.

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