top of page

The Evolution of Patient Identification: Part VI

Direct Thermal Barcode Patient ID System Set-Up


Part IV and Part V of our Patient ID Evolution series illustrate how direct thermal printers and wristbands offer the most efficient and cost-effective solution to hospitals and clinics. Along with understanding your direct thermal printer make and model, it’s also critical to familiarize yourself with direct thermal wristband terminology and product features.

In this blog post, we will cover direct thermal wristband specifications and features to consider for proper planning and implementation of a direct thermal patient ID system. In addition to considering different wristband sizes and dimensions, below is a list of direct thermal wristband features to take into account before implementing your patient ID system. At Medirex, we take pride in offering a variety of solutions to suit any patient ID system so please connect with our subject matter experts at for more information.


Thermal Roll Set Up Terminology

Core Size

The center piece of the roll that is used to wind-up the thermal material is called the core, and the diameter of the core is referred as the core size. As part of the set-up process, core size needs to be considered as various printers accept a range of core sizes. The most common core size for thermal products is 25mm [1”] including Medirex direct thermal products.

Outer Diameter

The outer diameter of the roll is based on the maximum size of the roll including the core. A variety of outer diameters can fit in a thermal printer based on the manufacturer’s specifications.

Wound-Out (Thermal-Side-Out)

Wound-out is the most common wind-up direction for thermal products including Medirex ThermaSoft wristbands and labels. Wound-out indicates that the printing surface of the wristband or label is on the outside of the roll. Another term for wound-out is thermal-side-out.


Wound-in is a less common wind-up direction for thermal wristband and label rolls. A thermal printer needs to support this type of roll winding. Wound-in indicates that the printing surface of the wristband or label is on the inside of the roll. Another term for wound-in is thermal-side-in.

Closure-Tab-Out First

Closure-tab-out first is a term used when the closure of the wristband comes out first from the thermal printer. Closure-tab-out first is the default configuration for Medirex ThermaSoft wristbands.

Closure-Tab-Out Last

Closure-tab-out last is a term used when the closure of the wristband comes out last from the thermal printer. Medirex ThermaSoft wristbands can be customized to this type of configuration.

Black Mark Technology

Black mark technology media has a black line printed on the back side of the wristband in which the thermal printer sensor recognizes it as either the start or end of a wristband. Black mark technology is the most reliable way of indicating to the printer where one wristband ends and another wristband starts. All Medirex ThermaSoft wristbands are manufactured with the black mark technology.

Patient Information Area

The patient information area is used for recording patient identifiers including 1D and 2D barcodes. Medirex ThermaSoft wristbands include a patient information area that has a special anti-wicking coating that protects the print against common chemicals and liquids found in the hospital environment. This patient information area coating can be seen with the naked eye when the ThermaSoft wristband is viewed at an angle against a light source.


About Medirex Systems Inc. Medirex Systems Inc. (Medirex) is a Canadian-owned and operated business connecting patients to health information systems. Being an industry leader for over 50 years, Medirex has evolved to bridge the gap between patient identification and engagement by cultivating patient connections with ease, security, and no errors. Providing a positive patient identification experience for over 10 million Canadians, Medirex adopts technologies ensuring that the patient has a voice in their healthcare journey. Medirex aids in the adoption of digital health resources and data to improve the patient experience for your healthcare organization. Media Contact: Medirex Communications Medirex Systems Inc. +1-416-363-9313

32 views0 comments
Post: Blog2_Post
bottom of page