Medical Supplies & Equipment Labels Matter

June 17, 2016  Echo International

common manufacturer symbols

When selecting supplies and equipment for your practice, it is important to consider many factors, including the labelling and packaging of the goods. Although they are typically more expensive, well-packaged supplies are usually of higher quality and are often the more cost-effective choice. Poorly packaged goods, although less expensive, are more likely to be damaged in transit, and mislabeled products can cause confusion and unnecessary errors. Buying the cheaper items may save your practice money in the short-term, but may end up costing more in subsequent repair and replacement fees. For that reason, it is important to check the quality of the labelling and the packaging before purchasing your supplies to ensure the following:

  • Packaging is sturdy enough to protect supplies from damage while in transit.
  • Packaging will keep supplies from deteriorating or becoming contaminated while in storage. (Click here for a list of common types of medical packages.)
  • Labeling includes the following information:
    • Country of origin
    • Date of manufacture
    • Expiration date (if appropriate)
    • Storage instructions

Labeling should also include the information that manufacturers are required to provide, which is different for each country because manufacturing standards vary. This information is typically communicated through symbols so that everyone, regardless of country or language, can understand. Below are explanations for some of the most common symbols used on medical equipment packaging:

common manufacturer symbols

For more information on selecting medical supplies and equipment, please click here.