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PRISYM ID’s latest survey finds that quality control is a major challenge in clinical labelling.
FREMONT, CA: A survey conducted among the world’s leading healthcare companies by PRISYM ID, a pioneering provider of data-led label and artwork management solutions, illustrates that a fifth of the experience quality control issues with clinical labelling on a monthly basis.
The survey, which comprised companies ranging from pharma to medical device manufacturers, found that six percent had quality control issues with labelling as often as once a week and 18 percent once a quarter. Twenty percent experienced quality problems annually, and the rest were vague. Sixty-nine percent blamed human error for disparities in label printing, while 29 percent cited printer failures, like a mechanical issue. Eighteen percent put issues down to incorrect data in the labelling system, and a further 12 percent cited erroneous data from a third party or ERP system.
The usual methods of capturing errors were manual inspection of every printed label (57 percent), followed by the use of an inspection system, as an electronic vision system, and timely printer maintenance, which were each cited by 47 percent of respondents. In relation to plans for an electronic vision inspection system, nearly a third (31 percent) had this type of system, and 12 percent planned to buy one. However, 33 percent did not think of investing in this technology, and the remainder were unsure about their companies’ plans. When asked about the most significant benefit of a vision inspection system, the majority of respondents (63 percent) cited identifying and reducing errors. This was followed by compliance and then speed and efficiency.
PRISYM ID’s survey shows that many respondents struggle to ensure quality control during the product labelling process, with a fifth of them experiencing issues once a month and a small proportion of suffering problems even more frequently.
Human error is considered as the major culprit, and that is worrying as many respondents depend on manual inspections. Given the legal and reputational implications of errors or omissions happening on product labels, PRISYM ID believes that automated inspection is essential. An automated vision system will continuously monitor labels for problems, including incorrect barcodes that cannot be read by the human eye, to poorly defined characters, or text that has been printed in the wrong place. This allows companies to manage risk in label production and remain compliant.