No matter how much a healthcare organization tries to avoid errors, we can’t overlook the fact that humans are prone to mistakes.
In the present time, every other practitioner is called upon to make split-second decisions where life & death hang in the balance. During such times, the lack of important data at the right time can lead to potentially incurable mistakes.
According to a recent study, medical mistakes are one of the top reasons for deaths in the US. Along with promises to not harm patients, it is also equally important that doctors, nurses, and other medical staff acquire all the required information to make a constructive decision at a critical time.
One of the easiest and effective ways that will help every hospital out there to avoid any type of medical mistake is by using patient wristbands. Needless to note that wristbands are actually stealing the show right now. More and more practitioners are using such bands to acquire important data about the patient at a glance, thus cutting down the potential for serious mistakes that can endanger a patient’s life.
For instance, a red wristband can be used to indicate that a patient doesn’t require to be resuscitated or a purple wristband can be used to alert someone that the patient is allergic to XYZ. Such information ultimately helps doctors and practitioners to take quick decisions, especially during emergency times. In simpler words, no individual will have to take a large chunk of time while a patient combats between life and death.
Providing wristbands is not enough! One should make sure that the wristbands are easy to read and avoid infections. Most importantly, it should help hospital staff as they are ones who need to be benefitted the most from the whole wristband strategy.
Take a look at some tips to increase patient safety using quality wristbands:
Consistent Color-Coding System
Color-coded wristbands are believed to be very effective to prevent medical errors. Such wristbands help to indicate at one glance the most vital patient detail when an urgent time comes up to a doctor.
Most of the time, doctors, nurses, and other practitioners fumble around, searching through medical charts, instead of treating an emergency patient. Now, we can’t always blame the frontliners as they are doing so to ensure accuracy. Hence, a color-coded wristband is an ultimate solution to prevent such a situation.
Here are a few possible colors and their indications:
- Red – do not resuscitate (DNR)
- Purple – allergy to latex
- Blue – allergy to something other than latex
- Yellow – restricted extremity
Make Them Easy To Read
Choosing easy-to-read wristbands, as well as labels, also improve patient safety. As it will allow a patient to verify his or her personal details more quickly as well as accurately when he or she first acquires the band.
On the other hand, medical staff can also easily read the necessary details on bands that will indeed help them to commit any kind of fatal error.
Hospital-acquired infection is also the biggest concern. Patient wristbands promote a cleanliness culture. Hence, one should choose a brand with anti-microbial surfaces. This will make sure that they do not carry as well as spread infectious germs.
Also, durable wristbands can resist alcohol, water, and soaps, ensuring to prevent the risk of infections.
Choose MRI-Safe Bands
Ensuring that patients have no metal objects on their bodies is very essential before permitting them to head towards an MRI scanner for a diagnostic or simple monitoring scan. Hence, choose metal-free wristbands as it helps radiologists as well as others in the radiology department to not worry about any potential danger while preparing a patient for MRI.
Make Replacement Easy
A patient should not be made to use a wristband for a long time. With that being said, wristbands should be replaced for any number of times and reasons. In this case, ensuring bands are easy to replace will also improve patient safety as it will make sure that a patient does not go without wristbands.
In addition to this, when wristband labels are very easy to be customized, printed, and applied to wristbands, no patient will face trouble getting their bands back on time.
By now, you too may agree that patient wristbands can efficiently improve patient safety.
All a healthcare organization needs to do is a proper use of wristbands in the hospital and it will reap big implications in terms of patient safety.
Lastly, use them well to decrease the medical error rate in your hospital.