SOURCE: General Data Company

November 14, 2006 11:31 ET

Kaiser Permanente Northern California Regional Laboratory Turns to General Data for Bar Code Slide Labeling Solution

StainerShield Offers Consistent Readability of Bar Codes for Labs' Automated Bar Code Readers and Storage Robotics

CINCINNATI, OH -- (MARKET WIRE) -- November 14, 2006 -- General Data Company, Inc., a leading provider of specialized labeling and identification products and solutions, today announced that Kaiser Permanente Northern California Regional Laboratory has selected General Data's StainerShield slide labeling solution to deliver a consistently readable bar code for the lab's automated bar code readers and storage robotics. As a result of StainerShield's durability and readability, the lab was able to replace two labels, one used prior to staining, the other following the staining process. StainerShield is designed to withstand a number of lab protocols that include exposure to the harshest chemicals, solvents and stains.

The Northern California Regional Laboratory is a high-volume regionalized cytology laboratory processing 300,000-500,000 cervical cancer screening tests (Pap plus HPV) per year. The lab needed a specimen identification label that would consistently print a clear bar code, and that would have a high success rate for the labs automated Pap screening system laser bar code readers, and HPV reflex specimen storage and retrieval robotics. In addition, the bar code label needed to stand up to staining solutions and solvents if re-coverslipping of the slide was ever necessary.

"We tested ten different label products and also shipped them to our automation vendor for evaluation of their specs and technical performance measured by their engineers," said Barbara Fetterman, cytopathology assistant manager, research and development at Kaiser Permanente Northern California Regional Laboratory. "We tested both before and after exposure to the laboratory chemicals, and the StainerShield labels were far superior to any of the other labels tested both for adherence and readability after staining, and for the precision of the bar code read."

StainerShield labels are part of General Data's StainerShield family of products and technologies designed for effective bar code-based identification and tracking of tissue cassettes and specimen slides in medical and research labs. StainerShield labels can be formatted to print a variety of patient and case-specific information in text and bar code format. The labels may be applied to the specimen slides before the slides are exposed to the lab's staining process. StainerShield ensures a permanent and readable bar code identifier that can be used to positively identify and track the slide through staining, automated and human analysis, and archiving. StainerShield labels are also used in the robotic HPV freezer system where test tubes are picked, verified and sorted for reflex testing based upon the bar code.

Fetterman added, "The most important benefit of the StainerShield labels is the very low rejection rate of the bar codes as they are processed by our instrumentation. The readability of these bar codes printed locally by our Zebra printers is as good as or better than the preprinted bar code labels that we had been using."

"We are pleased to be working with the Northern California Regional Laboratory, which is on the cutting edge of using technology to improve lab workflow and test accuracy," said Peter Wenzel, president of General Data. "With its artificial intelligence and advanced implementation, the lab had some unique labeling requirements. StainerShield was able to provide the durability necessary for the bar codes to survive the lab's staining processes, and the print quality and readability required to provide an accurate scan by the lab's automated readers. We look forward to a successful, long-term partnership with the lab."

About Kaiser Permanente

Kaiser Permanente, founded in 1945, is a non-profit integrated health care organization, with physicians, nurses and staff working in collaboration to provide high quality care to patients and address the health care needs of communities served by the organization. The Kaiser Permanente Northern California Region serves almost 3.2 million members. It includes 6,400 physicians in The Permanente Medical Group (TPMG) and about 54,000 employees. The region has 19 major medical centers. Each year, Kaiser Permanente donates about $300 million to a variety of community programs and agencies in Northern California.

About General Data Company

General Data Company is a leading provider of specialized labeling and identification products and solutions. The company's patent-pending healthcare and laboratory identification technologies are designed to improve patient safety and care, reduce medical errors, facilitate patient administration and provide consumers with peace of mind and confidence in their health care providers. General Data is recognized as the premiere provider of integrated bar code identification and data collection products and solutions that enable businesses in a variety of industries to become more efficient and make better decisions. Founded in 1981, General Data is a privately held company with headquarters in Cincinnati, Ohio. More information on General Data can be found at http://www.general-data.com.

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