Patient Safety

  1. I am doing a research paper on patient safety, specifically with regard to patient identification.
    What initiatives/policies are out there regarding patient ID, espeically regarding patients in the same hospital/unit with like or similar names?

  2. Visit Inge Allen profile page

    About Inge Allen

    Joined: Mar '03; Posts: 4; Likes: 1
    RN Nurse Manager


  3. by   nimbex
    we have a specific "Identiband system".. This means that the arm identification band is a "blueplate", it slides out of a sheath on thier bracelet about 1inch by 3inches. Everytime we draw a blood or body fluid sample, we have a "gun", in each room that makes a sticker of that blueplate.

    The rationale is that if you have 5 blood draws, all slips in your pocket. you must make a "label", in each room, one label per specimin, then attatch the blood req. slip on it with date time initials.

    You cannot leave the room propr to making a label and placing it on each blood specimen. So worst case senario, you have 3 patients, all with the yellow idenibands on them, and you pull a wrong lab req. slip and place it on the wrong vile of blood. Well lab catches this immediately.

    If you label each specimin at the bedside with this label, regardless of what sticker you place on after you know WHO it belongs to.

    This drastically reduced our lab errors, simple and effective. It's a simple "gun" that the identification blueprint card slipps into and you slide a chamber and out pops a sticker that is immediately placed on the sample..... No more 4 viles unlabeled in your pocket.
  4. by   MarnnaRN
    we use an acuscan system. Most of the meds come with a bar code, we scan our id tags, the med and the patient Id. Though it is not foolproof, when an iv bag of K+ scanned for a pt that was supposed to be an abx, oops! Not caught in time either by the poor nurse. Fortunately, there were no bad outcomes. Don't know off the top of my head how many errors this has really reduced. Good luck on your research paper!
  5. by   kitty=^..^=cat
    You might want to check out the JCAHO website (I've included a link to the specific page below) for info on the National Patient Safety Goals. Beginning January 1, two unique identifiers must be used in identifying patients...

    You might also want to check out the National Patient Safety Foundation website -- it's -- I don't know that they have anything specific to patient identification there, but there are good links and resources.

    Good Luck!
  6. by   Inge Allen
    Many thanks for your feedback. It seems as though barcoding is the way to go. Luckily, my facility purchased a computer system that has that capability, yet to be "built".
    Does anyone have anything special that you do, in addition, when you have, say, 2 Mr. Smiths in the hospital at the same time, or a
    Mrs. Houston and a Mrs. Huston on the same unit!?
  7. by   kitty=^..^=cat
    We have neon orange stickers at the registration desk and the nurses station that say "Same Name" -- they're available as a stock item from practically all of the label and sticker catalogs. The admission paperwork comes to the nurses station with a sticker. After the record is assembled, a sticker is placed on the front of the chart, the patient's armband and inside the patient's medication drawer. In addition, a neon orange sign is taped to the head of the patient's bed.

    The registration clerk and then the nurse explain to the family that our hospital takes patient safety seriously and gives them the whole rationale. We have a patient safety pamphlet that we give to everyone on admission as well that explains "fall precautions" and our other patient safety initiatives.
  8. by   RNonsense
    We have a Name Alert protocol similiar the the above post...I think most do, don't they?
  9. by   memphispanda
    The system I am doing clinicals in uses "ID Alert" for patients with the same or similar name. The notice is put on the white board (ID Alert 428 & 440), on the chart, on the MAR, on the patient's door, and probably other places I don't even know about. The name itself isn't on the alert because of privacy issues, just ID Alert and possibly the room number.
  10. by   Inge Allen
    Thank you so much for all your responses! This is so helpful.