The mechanics of patient throughput provides many places for failure. Ensuring that the right data is associated with the right patient is critically important because a patient’s chart is the foundation for treatments, including medications, therapies, and surgery. But considering the number of interactions that occur during a single patient visit and all the data that is collected and compiled into a patient’s chart, the seemingly simple task of patient identification can be a challenge. Multiply the single patient experience by hundreds or thousands of patients, and it is easy to see why patient identification is a top priority in hospitals today.Patient identification errors can disrupt care and harm patients in virtually every facet of clinical medicine, including diagnostic testing, medication administration, billing, even transplants. Also, medical identify theft is at risk. Recognizing the significance of this problem, The Joint Commission has named improving the accuracy of patient identification as the most crucial National Patient Safety Goal since 2014.
This paper discusses the following:
- Importance of right patient, right chart
- Causes of patient identification errors
- Technological advances that can be used to minimize patient identification errors