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Photo ID’s Help Reduce Medical Mistakes

On June 5 2012, Reuters published an article about the usage and proposed integration of photo ID’s as part of a hospital’s patient records. The point of the article was to cover both minor and major medical mistakes that occur in hospitals and on the operating table due to human error and/or when checking in patients. The article suggested and provided evidence for the fact that including photo ID’s in patient records significantly reduced such errors.

ID Card Systems Reduce School Clutter

One of the keys to smooth running in a school is getting students into the building and to their classes in an easy, quick and if possible, comfortable manner. Add in hallway traffic congestion and social chattering factors and you quickly be left with traffic jams. The good news is that the merger of ID card systems and system software can easily reduce hallway, lunchroom and library clutter.

For example, various process take place in a typical school on any given day, such as signing for lunch programs and purchasing lunches, checking out library books, attending schooling events and other annual events, such as buying year books.

Integrating ID card systems with good ID card software programs is an optimal way to streamline school-related processes and to ensure reduced stress and increased student body flow. By issuing student ID cards laden with embedded mag-stripe encoding or barcodes, students can easily pass their cards through a scanner when signing up for lunch programs,  purchasing food or checking out library books.

Aside from moving along these processes in a more efficient manner, students will potentially appreciate the efficiency of being able to wear their ID’s  - making it harder to lose, and thus safer with regards to identify theft. Such cards can also be used to issue students lower bus fares, a policy adopted by both private and public schools in Baltimore Country and Baltimore City.

Access Control for Schools

While statistics seem to show that the national crime rate has fortunately dropped in the last few years, other studies, such as the U.S. Department of Education’s and the U.S. Department of Justice’s 2006 Indicators of School Crime and Safety study, indicate that violent crime has risen specifically among children and adolescents.

Such unfortunate incidents require renewed professionalism and vigilance with regards to school safety and the integration of appropriate methods. School administration, staff and the parent body should rightfully vie for technological integration of visitor management and access control systems.

Such systems are typically used for restricting, recording and monitoring access into and departure from a school building. Student-issued ID cards can be synchronized with access control systems, most of which include or are compatible with software programs, such as the one seen here, designed for tracking visitors, recording data and compiling it into reports. The main purpose of the hybrid between existing ID card and access control systems is to help school security and staff to more easily recognize who belongs and doesn’t belong on the school grounds.

Access Control — Access control can refer to a single entrance or to multiple entrances into the building. Such systems can be integrated into as many entrances as necessary.

Visitor Management Software — The school can also use software systems ideal for compiling detailed reports describing data, such as visitor frequency, entrance and exit, and most-commonly used entrances. Such data can help staff identify and learn about any potential problems related to violence on campus.

Expiring Badges — Expiring badges are visitor badges with a predetermined “lifespan” and are typically issued to guest speakers or other persons for temporary access to the facility. Such badges are generally effective for one day only or a half-day.

Alternative Ways to Use ID Card Printing for Marketing Purposes

A high number of industries and fields utilize plastic card-printing technology for an equally high number of purposes. Government buildings and corporations print on plastic ID badges for access control and visitor management, schools use them as identity cards for their staff and student body, and financial institutions use them for credit cards.

However, this blog post will cover other, more out-of-the-box ways that a standard ID card printer can be used for marketing purposes and to promote your product.

Wide varieties of theme-specific information can be incorporated onto a wallet-sized card. For example, if you run a construction company or any business that involves calculating measurement conversions, such as carpet sales, you can sell cards with unit conversion information printed on them. These can come in handy for customers who buy your products and need to quickly convert units when placing rugs in their homes or workplace. Other industries that can benefit from unit-conversion cards are bakeries, which often require quick conversions for recipes.

Public safety institutions, such as police and fire fighting stations, hospitals and schools can print cards displaying emergency information numbers and addresses on the front on back using dual-sided printers.

And who says that business cards need to be limited to being printed on paper cards? Plastic ID cards can contain all the information that a traditional paper business card displays, but are more durable. This can as well include restaurants with hours of operation, web site address to view a menu, and phone number for delivery.

Coupons as well can be printed on plastic cards versus the standard paper, which can be torn. Further, such cards can be programmed to be used repeatedly.

Thinking outside of the box when it comes to alternative printer uses can help you advance your marketing strategy, and the technology already exists!

How to Use the Evolis ID Card Printer Series for your ID Badge Needs

Evolis is a printer manufacturer that makes printers used in printing ID badges of different types. Some of the different types of cards you can print are standard ID cards, driver’s licenses, bank cards and access badges and the like. A badge typically holds information about its owner, such as name, a photograph and perhaps statistical information such as height, weight and hair color, etc. The purpose of an ID badge is to identify the individual.

PVC Cards
The types of cards used are the standard type of cards used by most printer manufacturers. These cards are known as PVC (yes, the same PVC used for piping), but are more commonly known as plastic cards. Since they are smooth to the touch, PVC Cards require printing via a method known as thermal transfer printing, which uses a printer part known as a ribbon to apply either a colored or monochrome layer. Contrast this with your standard inkjet printers, which place the ink directly on the page. Thermal printing is necessary since the heating process causes the ink to remain glued to the surface, which is not an issue with printing on paper. When printing in color, the heat turns the ink layer into gas that reverts to its original state on the card’s surface, a process known as sublimation, or dye sublimation. Evolis printers can print in both monochrome and color.

Bar Code Application
Bar codes are perhaps the most basic feature of plastic cards and are used in many places, such as in stores that sell merchandise branded with bar codes. It is therefore not limited only to cards, but to a variety of plastic surfaces that require bar code identification. A bar code works by creating highly distinct black and white areas that are read by a photosensitive electronic scanner. When the card is passed under the light emitted from the scanner, the scanner detects which light is absorbed by the black areas and which is reflected by the white areas, a pattern which registers as a product or item. We’ve all been in line at the grocery store only to find that the cashier has to scan our item over and over again while people behind us are getting impatient. A scanner has a hard time reading a bar code when the lines are not printed sharply or evenly.

Rewritable Printing
Rewritable printing is to printers what rewritable CD’s are to CD burners. Any images printed on a rewritable card can be erased by being exposed to heat (230-320° F or 110-160° C). A typical PVC card can go through this process usually up to 500 times.

Lamination
Printing lamination is similar to the standard form of printing, whereby a material such as paper is covered in a protective plastic sheath. In printing, specifically in ID card printing, lamination is used in order protect card images from destruction, either accidental or deliberate. Such damage renders a card used for identification useless, or worst, if a card with an unrecognizable image is lost and found by somebody else, it can lead to identity theft. Evolis offers cards of this type in order to prevent against the types of forgery associated with damaged cards.

Holograms
It is also possible to apply holographic images to PVC cards. Cards with images are typically used by institutions that seek to avoid counterfeiting and forgery, such as banks or facilities that require an age limit for access. Holographic images cannot be duplicated with a standard Xerox machine, scanner or standard inkjet printer, which is why certain organizations opt to use them.

Magnetic Encoding
Magnetic encoding is a black stripe placed on the back of a card, usually bank cards. The particles in the magnetic encoding stripe hold binary information (1’s and 0’s) that a scanner, or reader, encodes when swiped. Evolis makes magnetic encoders that are able to create the magnetic stripes used by financial institutions.

Contact Cards or Smart Cards
Contact cards, also known as Smart Cards, are plastic cards fitted in an internal chip that can hold more than 100 times the amount of data that a magnetic stripe can hold. They are swiped much like a magnetic encoding card and also rewritable.

Contactless Cards
A contactless card is a card that holds information read through the transfer of microwave frequencies from a chip to the laminated plastic card. This mechanization means that the card doesn’t need to be swiped, but just passed nearby the scanning device (between 3-10 cm) and allows for quicker and more efficient access. Contactless cards can be used for a variety of applications, depending on the card model, and is common for access security, data storage and encryption.

The Different Types of ID Cards

The purpose of this post is to inform the reader of the various types of ID cards that exist out there in the printing world. My hope is to present a brief, but high quality, catalogue of the different ID cards as well as an explanation of what the cards are typically used for. Many of the types of cards explained herein overlap to some degree. For example, one type of card might be a general category of card, while several others are types of that card that belong in that general category.


Proximity Cards

You’ve probably heard this term a whole lot, but don’t know exactly what it is. The term refers to an integrated circuit apparatus used for a variety of basic uses such as security access control and payment systems. The two main types of proximity cards come in the 125 kHz devices or the newer 13.56 MHz variety. These cards are often referred to as RFID cards, or Radio-frequency Identification Cards, but are also known by the term “contactless smartcards.”


Access Control

An Access Control card is designed to grant access to an enclosed area, be it a business office, airport, or government-type organization. Access Control is a general category, and access control cards can take the form of proximity cards and come with the option of displaying a photo of the card holder. Access control cards typically contain magnetic chips that grant the user access.


Clamshell Card

A  Clamshell Card is a protective covering used to house a contactless smartcard.


Flexpass Imageable Cards

Flexpass Imageable cards are particularly useful for barcode transactions or those which require magnetic stripes and a dye-sublimation printer can be used to print digital images and graphics onto their surface.


Embeddable Cards

An embeddable card, sometimes also known as embedded cards, is an RFID card embedded with a chip. The card can be used for access control, purchases and cash withdrawal and this type of card has been in use for several years.


Hologram card

An ID card with a built-in hologram, an added security measure from counterfeiting.


iClass Key

The “key” in iClass Key refers to a small contactless smartcard placed in an also-small plastic knob. It serves the same purpose as most access proximity cards as long as the function does not require you to present a photo ID. Some of the plusses of this technology is that it protects your card from the elements and can be easily carried on a key chain or some similar accessory.


iClass Tag

The “tag” in iClass Tag is a contactless smartcard device roughly the size of a coin and is a transponder that you can attach to a non-metallic surface.


ISO/IEC 14443

The international standard that defines ID proximity cards and its communications transmission protocols.


Mifare Card

A patented contactless smart card standard corresponding to ISO 14443.


SDK (Software Development Kit)

An SDK is a software development kit that is used to create applications for software packages and other platforms.


Wiegand Cards

A Wiegand card utilizes embedded ferromagnetic wires, ferromagnetism being the mechanism that causes materials to be permanently magnetized, even after the energy field is removed. These wires are turned away in a strategic fashion as to generate the user’s individual ID number.


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