"We Verify" Helps Ensure Patient SafetyFroedtert & the Medical College of Wisconsin have launched a new program to help improve patient safety through better patient identification (ID). The program, called “We Verify,” includes new patient ID bands, along with staff and patient education.
“The program is the result of a yearlong Six Sigma project that looked at ID bands and the ID verification process,” Pam Scherff, RN, says. Scherff is the director of general surgical nursing. Six Sigma refers to the hospital’s quality improvement system. “The goal is to improve patient safety overall and make sure all patients have accurate, legible ID bands.”
The biggest change for patients is a new, computer-generated ID band that features a bar code. The bar code will eventually carry additional patient information, and that part of the process will be piloted this summer.
The new program requires staff to verify each patient’s identification by asking the patient his or her name and birth date or checking the ID band before medications are given; before procedures, treatments or tests are performed, and before the patient is transported within the hospital.
Flyers informing patients about the new program are placed in all patient rooms, and staff will remind patients to ask that their IDs be checked if a staff member doesn’t check it.
Improving the accuracy of patient identification is the No. 1 patient safety goal of the Joint Commission on Accreditation of Healthcare Organizations, which accredits hospitals nationwide. “We’re not stopping here,” Scherff adds. “We’ll continue to look at better solutions. As technology evolves, we will too.”
Source: Froedtert Today
Date: March 2006