Barcode Labels Fit the Bill

August 18, 2022
barcode label

What are Some Different Kinds of Barcode Labels?

There are two different kinds of barcodes - 1D (linear) or 2D (two-dimensional). Linear barcodes are the most widely used and identified by vertical lines and spaces. Two dimensional barcodes are usually square or rectangular with different dashes/spaces and are easily identified, i.e., QR Code. Within the two respective barcode types fall barcode symbologies. Barcode symbologies are like the different languages barcodes speak - each with their different protocols. Popular linear (1D) symbologies include Code 39 and Code 128. Popular 2D barcode symbologies include DataMatrix and QR Code.

How Do You Keep Track of Surgical Equipment?

Surgical instruments can be very difficult to accomplish and barcode labels may not be the best choice for the application. Other tracking options like direct parts marking may be a better solution.

How Do You Track Dental Instruments?

beaker with barcode tag
Photo anodized barcodes
withstand the toughest conditions

Tracking dental instruments can be done a number of different ways - one of which is using barcode tags. Two things to consider when selecting a barcode tag to be used on dental instruments. First, how big is the instrument that needs to be tracked? Larger instruments may have no problem finding the space to adhere a barcode labels to, but with smaller instruments space is a premium. There are barcode products available for the smaller instruments like Metalcraft's Foil 2D Dot. The other issue to consider is the environmental conditions both the instrument and the barcode tag are expected to survive. Cleaning solutions and high temperatures will have an impact on the barcode tag's performance if the right tag material isn't selected. Metalcraft's Photo Anodized product line is ideal for these applications as shown in the case study with Tufts Dental Clinic.

What are Barcodes Used for in Hospitals

There are many advantages to using barcode in hospitals. First, barcode is less expensive and typically quicker to implement than other automatic tracking technologies like radio frequency identification (RFID). Another benefit of barcode is they can be designed to withstand very harsh conditions, i.e., autoclaves. Expanding on that idea, barcodes will work on whatever surface you put them on; whereas RFID requires specialty tags to read on metal surfaces.

How Can Barcode Technology Assist in Improving Patient Safety

In answering this question I'm not going to address the more obvious answer of barcodes on patients' wristbands; rather, I'm going to focus on the no so obvious, yet extremely critical application of asset tracking. Using barcodes on hospital equipment allows you to quickly access information about the asset. When was it purchased? When did it last go in for routine maintenance/calibration? Easily accessing this information could mean the difference between life and death.

Metalcraft ID Solutions

Metalcraft can assist you in developing an asset management program in a number of different ways. Our Ultimate Guide to Asset Tracking and the supplemental resource the Asset Tracking Checklist are great tools to use on your own or you can contact Metalcraft at or 800-437-5283 to speak with one of our ID Specialists who will qualify your application and get you on your way to better asset management with Metalcraft identification products.


Julia Deets, VP of Marketing and Customer Experience  

About the Author: Julia Deets

Julia Deets joined Metalcraft in 1999 as the Marketing/New Product Director. Julia has held numerous roles during her career with Metalcraft, all related to marketing and customer support. Her current position is as the VP of Marketing and Customer Experience. She has both an undergrad and a Master's degree in Organizational Communications from Northwest Missouri State University and the University of Northern Iowa, respectively. 


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