Patient Identification in NSWLinks
Wristbands containing patient information have been the standard method of identifying patients in hospitals for many years. Patient identification bands are a critical tool to prevent errors associated with mismatching patients and their care. Although patient identification bands are present in all Australian hospitals there has not previously been a standard national approach regarding their use.
In June 2008 the Australian Health Minsters Conference agreed that a standard patient identification band be adopted by public and private health services. Previously, different colours have been used as codes for different conditions, however there is evidence that these can increase the risk of identification errors.
In collaboration with the Australian Commission for Safety and Quality in Health Care and building on the achievements to date through the Correct Patient, Correct Procedure and Correct Site initiatives NSW Health has commenced policy and program development to improve patient outcomes through more rigorous patient identification practices.
There will be three areas of work:
• Standardising patient identification bands
• Developing patient identification best practice models
• Investigating the implementation of technological solutions to address patient misidentification
The Australian Commission for Safety and Quality in Health Care
The World Health Organisation - Patient Safety Solutions - Patient Identification
The National Patient Safety Agency