Decreasing patient identification band errors by standardizing processes.

Academic Article


  • OBJECTIVE: Patient identification (ID) bands are an essential component in patient ID. Quality improvement methodology has been applied as a model to reduce ID band errors although previous studies have not addressed standardization of ID bands. Our specific aim was to decrease ID band errors by 50% in a 12-month period. METHODS: The Six Sigma DMAIC (define, measure, analyze, improve, and control) quality improvement model was the framework for this study. ID bands at a tertiary care pediatric hospital were audited from January 2011 to January 2012 with continued audits to June 2012 to confirm the new process was in control. After analysis, the major improvement strategy implemented was standardization of styles of ID bands and labels. Additional interventions included educational initiatives regarding the new ID band processes and disseminating institutional and nursing unit data. RESULTS: A total of 4556 ID bands were audited with a preimprovement ID band error average rate of 9.2%. Significant variation in the ID band process was observed, including styles of ID bands. Interventions were focused on standardization of the ID band and labels. The ID band error rate improved to 5.2% in 9 months (95% confidence interval: 2.5-5.5; P < .001) and was maintained for 8 months. CONCLUSIONS: Standardization of ID bands and labels in conjunction with other interventions resulted in a statistical decrease in ID band error rates. This decrease in ID band error rates was maintained over the subsequent 8 months.
  • Authors

    Published In


  • Feedback, Hospitals, Pediatric, Humans, Medical Errors, Nursing Staff, Hospital, Patient Identification Systems, Quality Assurance, Health Care, Quality Improvement
  • Digital Object Identifier (doi)

    Author List

  • Walley SC; Berger S; Harris Y; Gallizzi G; Hayes L
  • Start Page

  • 108
  • End Page

  • 117
  • Volume

  • 3
  • Issue

  • 2