water pitcher mix ups in the hospital, how to avoid?

  1. 0
    I am looking for ideas to prevent water pitchers that have been refilled being returned to the wrong patients. Our pitchers/jugs are made with a lid that has a straw to drink out of and a separate place to pour water from. They are two separate pieces

    It is not unusual that when a PCT refills a pitcher they either put the wrong lid on or give the wrong pitcher back to the patient.

    We have name labels on the top and the side of the pitchers with the room numbers written on them, thus we find pitchers with two different names on them.

    My suggestion of filling one at a time and returning it to the patient did not go over well because it is not "time efficient". The problem is occurring on all floors, not just one area.

    I personally like the old style of pitcher that the patients did not drink from, the water was poured into a cup for the patient to drink. This way if an error was made at least the patient hadn't drank from the pitcher.

    Are there water pitchers available where the top and bottom pieces cannot be separated? (Any pictures would be helpful.) At least that would take care of part of the problem of getting it right.

    It is my desire to take a "leadership" role and find a way to keep this from happening. Any ideas/thoughts are appreciated.

    Thank you!
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  4. 12 Comments so far...

  5. 3
    Big Sharpie marker!
    wooh, Twinmom06, and Tholi like this.
  6. 2
    I have seen CNA's/techs push a cart filled with fresh ice and water from room to room for refills several times a day at fixed times. If a pt needs it outside the time frame, the nurse or tech will refill it. No mix up this way, also much cheaper than buying all new water pitchers.. Im sure with a one piece water pitcher the wrong one would still end up in the wrong room. Its obvious the PCT's are not taking their time to assure the mix up does not happen.
    wooh and Tholi like this.
  7. 1
    Twice a day a trolley is filled with clean water jugs full of ice water and new straws. Whoever is doing the water(usually aides) takes a clean one into the room and brings out the dirty one.The dirty ones go on the lower shelf of the trolley.The dirty jugs go back to the kitchen for washing. Everyone gets a clean one twice a day.They aren't labelled, they are washed so it doesn't matter if they go back to the same room.
    Tholi likes this.
  8. 1
    Our hospital does not use jugs anymore. We use styrofoam cups and Pts get a new one each shift and when requested. I know it's wasteful, but it prevents those mix ups
    Tholi likes this.
  9. 6
    Hire people who can read the names, match the corresponding labeled tops and bottoms, and dispense them properly. It's a matter of laziness on the part of staff, IMO
    KelRN215, Dazglue, psu_213, and 3 others like this.
  10. 0
    I hear you. Part of the issue is they sometimes have 10 patients a piece to care for (or more) and so they are not able to keep up. I think always making sure their ID bracelet matches the name on the pitcher would be a good practice, too.
  11. 1
    Its policy in our hospital if it comes out of the room a clean one goes back in....
    loriangel14 likes this.
  12. 1
    At my old hospital each patient had a pitcher that was not to come out of the room. They had plastic bags that we would put ice in and add it to pitchers. It was easy and economical. You could fill up several bags and stick them on the chart cart and everyone got fresh ice with no opportunity for mix ups. We added water in the room or just let the ice melt if they didn't want any right away. My current facility passes water in styrofoam cups bid.
    HAYNURSE likes this.
  13. 0
    We aren't supposed to take the dirty pitchers/cups back in the ice room. I have worked places that used plastic bags. At the beginning of the shift we would fill up the bags with ice and load a cart with the bags and straws and sodas and then take them individually in the room. Sounds like carelessness and laziness to me--how hard is it read a name and match it up?


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