Categories
Medical

Risk Communication and PPE: How Facilities Are Protecting Healthcare Workers

Over the past two months, most industries have been flipped on their heads and healthcare is no exception. To manage the spread of coronavirus, face-to-face interactions have slowed or halted. Elective procedures have been postponed, primary care appointments have been moved to a telemedicine model when possible, and hospital visitors have been heavily restricted. Conversely, for healthcare staff working on the front lines of the pandemic, things are far busier if not chaotic in some regions. Workers are now operating in environments that pose a greater threat to their own health and run the risk of becoming overburdened due to the outbreak. In response to this “new world,” health systems have quickly adapted to rapidly changing environments with new procedures and policies and have shifted their purchasing efforts to secure enough PPE (personal protective equipment) for front line workers.

It’s a rapidly changing landscape to be sure. Almost daily, the FDA (Food and Drug Administration) and CDC (Centers for Disease Control and Prevention) are releasing updates to help facilities address coronavirus risks and PPE supply shortages. The Secretary of the Department of Health and Human Services declared that during the course of the COVID-19 outbreak, an EUA (emergency use authorization) would apply to personal respiratory protective devices1, such as face masks2 and face shields3. The CDC has recommended that all facilities in the US implement PPE contingency strategies immediately, including reprocessing PPE, extending the use of products such as face masks beyond contact with a single patient, and, if commercial PPE is unavailable, utilizing alternative products that will reduce exposure4.

At PlatinumCode, we’ve listened to countless stories describing the challenges that healthcare facilities are facing every day during the outbreak. From visitors trying to sneak into regulated areas so that they can see loved ones, to front line workers using garbage bags as protective gowns, these stories have resonated deeply with us. While we can’t join the front lines of the pandemic, we are trying to respond in any way we can to support our customers during these challenging times.

We are sourcing additional PPE products to get them to the front lines faster. In addition to nitrile gloves, PlatinumCode has established a supply chain for other PPE items, such as face masks, face shields, and hand sanitizer. Many other countries are facing the same challenges as we are in the United States, so sourcing these products in a high-demand, global marketplace has not been possible for many of our customers. Our operations teams have leveraged their deep understanding of supply chain and their connections in the global economy to find these products and get them quickly into the hands of our customers. We are staying up-to-date on the latest guidelines to ensure that these products qualify for the EUA or meet infection control recommendations5.

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We have established standard alert products to align with customer risk communication protocols. With these new protocols, patients who are exhibiting symptoms are asked to call and complete a COVID questionnaire over the phone before going to the hospital. All patients and visitors are required to undergo a COVID screening upon check-in, often including temperature checks. At many facilities, entrances are restricted to a single patient/visitor entrance and a single staff entrance, where staff are undergoing similar screening protocols. If a patient, visitor, or staff member screens positive as a risk during the COVID screening, protocols are in place to assess exposure for all employees, to isolate and test that person, and to communicate any potential risks. Some of the common ways in which these risks are being communicated include:

  • Color-coded wristbands for visitor and patient screening
  • Visitor sticker badges and color-coded labels for staff badges
  • Signs and decals to identify quarantine and isolation rooms
  • Lab labels for COVID-19 specimen testing that comply with CDC labeling requirements6

Shop COVID-19 ID Products

 

Whether your challenge is sourcing PPE products, finding off-the-shelf communication solutions, or something else entirely, if PlatinumCode can help, we will. Just call us at 952-890-7100 and our teams are ready to support you!

References:

  1. https://www.fda.gov/medical-devices/emergency-situations-medical-devices/emergency-use-authorizations#covid19ppe
  2. https://www.fda.gov/media/137121/download
  3. https://www.fda.gov/media/136842/download
  4. https://www.cdc.gov/coronavirus/2019-ncov/hcp/ppe-strategy/index.html
  5. https://www.cdc.gov/coronavirus/2019-ncov/hcp/infection-control.html
  6. https://www.cdc.gov/coronavirus/2019-ncov/lab/guidelines-clinical-specimens.html

 

Categories
Medical

4 Things You Can Do to Protect Your Patients

The World Health Organization (WHO) defines patient safety as

“the absence of preventable harm to a patient and reduction of risk of unnecessary harm associated with health care to an acceptable minimum”.1  

Healthcare institutes such as WHO or the Center for Disease Control (CDC) have policies and best practices that caregivers should follow to ensure that the risks of patient harm are reduced to the lowest possible level. At PlatinumCode, our mission is to build better futures for our customers and their patients by manufacturing and supplying products that support these important patient safety initiatives. Over the past three decades, we have collaborated with health systems around the nation to provide solutions that reduce risks of infection transmission, patient mis-identification, and human error. Here are four ways that our customers use these products to protect their patients:

Use single-use, disposable products to reduce cross-infection and cross-contamination. 80% of infections are transmitted through touch2, so there is an added risk of cross-infection from patient-to-patient for every product that is used to treat multiple patients. At a time of a global disease pandemic, the best practice of using single-use products when treating patients is particularly important. In addition to the risks of patient infection and contamination, we understand that health systems must consider other factors when deciding between a reusable or a disposable product, such as cost and environmental impact. Fortunately, PlatinumCode has a variety of disposable tourniquets and individually-wrapped, single-use cohesive bandages that not only address risk of cross-infection, but that are cost-effective and non-latex.

Reduce environmental factors that can contribute to mistakes in patient care. When tourniquets are left in place for too long, you risk hemolysis and damage to the blood sample, or worse, significant injury can occur to the patient in the form of circulatory, neurological, vascular, and muscular damage3. The most common cause for these forgotten tourniquet incidences is due to environment-related factors, such as the tourniquet being found under gowns and healthcare drapes4. So, what can you do to prevent these unfortunate mistakes? You can make sure that your tourniquets stand out and get noticed in a sea of monochrome or muted colors typically used in healthcare. By using brightly colored tourniquets, caregivers are more likely to notice a tourniquet and remove it at the appropriate time.

Ensure that identification labels and wristbands will not fall off specimens and patients. PlatinumCode has tamper-evident wristbands that are designed to stay in place so that your patients are always identified correctly during their stay. Just as important as accurate patient identification is the identification of patients’ laboratory samples. These samples are subjected to a variety of harsh environmental conditions during the analytical phase of testing, including extreme temperatures, steam, and radiation. To ensure that a patient sample is always identified correctly, it is imperative that the label be fully adhered to every specimen and display a clear barcode. If sample identification is compromised, delays in diagnosis or incorrect diagnoses may result. PlatinumCode cryogenic labels are made from a label stock that provides excellent barcode visibility and an adhesive that remains attached to the sample in the harshest environments.

Utilize automation to reduce human errors in redundant tasks. It’s no secret that redundant and monotonous tasks are prone to increases in human errors. The best way to address mistakes that occur during these repetitive processes is to automate them using technology. Kairos ID Automated Tube Labeling Systems are designed to automate repetitive phlebotomy tasks and help to ensure a patient-to-specimen match through a closed loop confirmation. By virtually eliminating all labeling errors, including missing, wrinkled, or crooked labels, this automation technology can help to prevent delays in or incorrect diagnoses.

To learn more about our products to protect your patients, click here.

 

References:

1. About us. (2018, March 21). Retrieved from https://www.who.int/patientsafety/about/en/
2. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC). CDC Quick Reference Guide for Public Information on Infection Control.
protocol. Revista De Enfermagem Referência, IV Série (17), 143–148. doi: 10.12707/riv17104
3. Pennsylvania Patient Safety Authority. Forgotten But Not Gone: Tourniquets Left on Patients. http://patientsafety.pa.gov/ADVISORIES/documents/200506_19.pdf
4. Pennsylvania Patient Safety Authority. The Forgotten Tourniquet – An Update. http://patientsafety.pa.gov/ADVISORIES/documents/201603_32.pdf

Categories
Press Release

PlatinumCode Awarded Supplier Agreement for Phlebotomy Tourniquets by Vizient

Minneapolis, MN – February 26, 2020   IPC, LLC DBA PlatinumCode announces they have been awarded a three-year agreement for Vizient, Inc., the largest member-driven health care performance improvement company in the country. Effective March 1, 2020, Vizient members will have access to increased savings on phlebotomy tourniquets offered by PlatinumCode.

With this agreement, PlatinumCode will be the first manufacturer to offer tourniquets as part of Vizient’s Pediatric Program, which will provide members with opportunities for added savings on pediatric and infant tourniquets. PlatinumCode will also be the supplier of Novaplus® tourniquets. Novaplus is Vizient’s private-label program that offers cost savings on a wide range of high quality, high-demand supplies for Vizient members.

“We are thrilled to have the opportunity to provide our extensive line of tourniquets to Vizient members and admire the numerous ways that Vizient seeks to add value for their diverse membership and customer base,”

said Kacie Hilliard, Director of Outside Sales.

“In working with thousands of healthcare facilities nationwide over the past 30 years, we have made it our goal to provide solutions that increase patient safety and improve the patient experience. Single-use tourniquets help to reduce the risk of cross-infection and bright color options ensure that tourniquets stand out in monochrome healthcare environments to reduce leave-on accidents. Additionally, our specialty-sized tourniquets were designed for patients of all sizes to provide the right mechanical properties required for successful venipuncture. We are excited to officially be a Vizient-contracted supplier and offer these phlebotomy solutions along with added value opportunities through Novaplus and the Pediatric Program.”

 

About PlatinumCode

PlatinumCode is a leading manufacturer of labels, tourniquets, and related supplies for the healthcare industry.  PlatinumCode was the first company to launch brightly colored tourniquets to reduce leave-on accidents. Tourniquets are manufactured by PlatinumCode in Asia and PlatinumCode South America in Argentina on state-of-the-art, proprietary equipment. For more information about PlatinumCode, please visit www.platinumcode.us.