National Patient Safety Goal #1 Two Patient Identifiers
Intent of using two patient identifiers The intent is two-fold: • First, to reliably identify the individual as the person for whom the service or treatment is intended. • Second, to match the service or treatment to that individual. Therefore, the two patient/client/resident-specific identifiers must be directly associated with the individual and the same two identifiers must be directly associated with the medications, blood products, specimen containers (such as on an attached label), other treatments or procedures. Please see the Patient Care Policy 502.002.
What should be labeled on the patient’s specimen container? • Patient’s legal name. Do not use initials. Do not use a patient’s middle name as their first name. Do not use nicknames or other names the patient may go by.
What should be labeled on the patient’s specimen? • Time and date the specimen was collected. • Initials of staff member collecting the specimen. • The source and type of fluid or specimen. (Ex: synovial fluid - left knee).
Remember specimens can look similar. • Example: synovial fluid can look like urine. • Serosanginous fluid can look like urine. Be sure to label specimen container with it’s contents and site/location of specimen!
Labeling Specimens • At the point of collection always label specimens in the presence of the patient. • Verify with the patient that the specimen has been labeled with their correct legal name.
Examples of mislabeling in the past: • Specimen labeled “Houston” and requisition form labeled “Huston”. • Specimen labeled “Dorothea” and requisition form “Dorothy”. Be sure the specimen label matches the lab requisition form. Specimens will not be processed if labeled incorrectly.
Nursing 101 • Labeling a specimen correctly is YOUR job and is basic nursing 101.
Hazards of Mislabeling Specimens • Inconvenience for patient – having to travel back to facility to redraw the specimen. • Increased blood loss. • Delay in treatment or diagnosis. • Misdiagnosis. • Medication overdoses. • Serious injury or even death. • Some specimens are irreplaceable/recollection impossible.
Own Your Specimens! • Take pride in your job and accomplishments!
What can happen if we fail to label specimens correctly? • Disciplinary Action • Oral and Written Warnings • 3 Strikes Your Out!