Healthcare Quarterly

Healthcare Quarterly 18(3) October 2015 : 56-60.doi:10.12927/hcq.2015.24431
Patient Safety

Improving Quality and Safety through Positive Patient Identification

Kerry Campbell, Allison Muniak, Sarah Rothwell, Linda Dempster, Jacqueline Per and Kelly Barr


The World Health Organization recognizes that patient misidentification can contribute to medication, surgical and charting errors. Accreditation Canada has set national standards and the Joint Commission on Accreditation of Healthcare Organizations has listed patient identification as a national patient safety goal. A qualitative and observational evaluation of patient identification practices in the Pre-Admission Clinic, Admitting Department and the Perioperative Care Center uncovered confusion, with 90% (n = 55) of patient verification occurrences not matching current policies. These discrepancies identify an opportunity to reassess and standardize workflow, clarify what identification methods are acceptable and determine additional appropriate identification verification practices with ID bracelets and patient charts.



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