Categories
Medical

3 Risky Tourniquet Hacks You’ll Never Need to Use Again

Author: ERin Robinson (Territory Development Manager)

You’ve heard the term “hack” before. Miriam Webster defines a hack as a strategy or technique for managing one’s time or activities more efficiently. In fact, there are companies that have been founded with the mission of creating content like “50 Simple Remodeling Hacks to Completely Transform Your Home” and “45 Kitchen Hacks You’ll Wish You Knew Sooner”. While I’m sure you’ve used hacks like the ones mentioned above to make your life easier, wouldn’t you agree that these do-it-yourself tips and tricks are best kept in your home and garden, rather than your medical care?

Below are 3 disposable tourniquet hacks that we’ve encountered over the years. Each of these hacks are associated with known patient safety risks, or at best, can lead to patient discomfort. Fortunately, we’ve worked with healthcare facilities for decades to create safe and effective solutions so that you’ll never need to ”hack” your disposable tourniquets again!

 

Hack #1: Tying 2 Adult Tourniquets Together for Bariatric Patients

PlatinumCode Solution: The standard length of adult tourniquets is 18 inches, but body types vary wildly. Unfortunately, a ‘one-size-fits-all’ approach doesn’t work in healthcare, but that doesn’t mean there shouldn’t be a disposable tourniquet that fits each patient. Instead of tying two tourniquets together, potentially causing physical and emotional discomfort for the patient, use a longer, wider band like our 32 inch long Bariatric Tourniquet to respectfully accommodate the patient.

Hack #2: Cutting a Tourniquet in Half for Pediatric Patients

PlatinumCode Solution: As mentioned above, patients come in many shapes and sizes. A standard disposable tourniquet is often too large for pediatric patients and the most common “tourniquet hack” in the industry (cutting a tourniquet in half) is used to solve this problem. By using a single-use, disposable tourniquet that was made with pediatric patients in mind, you can use a band that is slightly narrower at 0.75 inches, and only 12 inches long. It’s the perfect size for pediatric patients, from toddlers to school-aged children! Cutting scissors out of this process (pun intended) not only saves time, but also eliminates the risk of introducing bacteria to the tourniquet, and subsequently the patient.

Hack #3: Using Rubber Bands or Gloves for Infant Patients

PlatinumCode Solution: The most shocking tourniquet hack I’ve ever heard of is using rubber bands in place of tourniquets for the littlest patients of all: infants. Not only was it hard to hear, but I could tell it was hard for the clinician to share. Beyond the use of rubber bands, I’ve heard from care providers that the fingertip cut from an exam glove also makes a ‘great’ substitute in a pinch. Instead, why not use a tourniquet made with tiny patients in mind, like PlatinumCode Infant Tourniquets? Not only are these tourniquets soft in texture and ready-made for tiny limbs, but you don’t need to worry about cross-contamination from scissors, potential latex allergies from other materials, or the risk of a leave-on accident due to non-tourniquet materials blending in.

Given the fact that hacks are meant to improve efficiency, maybe the real hack is using products that do all the work for you? With a specialty size tourniquet for every class of patient, we’ve made your new tourniquet hacks safe, efficient, and easy.

Do you want to test out this new hack free of charge? Simply request samples of any of our non-latex disposable tourniquets via the form below and we’ll send some out! 

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.

Request a Quote for PPE Products

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

How to Select a Wristband for Your Healthcare Needs

As COVID-19 continues to spread worldwide, solutions that support the ever-growing workload of your healthcare facility are critical. Platinum Code is here to quickly provide you with cost-effective wristbands and labels that you need at this overwhelming time. We have a variety of color-coded options for screening and triage, patient admitting, and COVID-19 testing.

Author: Ray Bernard (Director, Inside Sales & Customer Service at PlatinumCode)

Patient ID Bands… I know what you may be thinking, “So what?” While it’s true that patient ID bands tend to be looked upon as a simple commodity product used to identify patients, it can be argued that patient ID bands are one of the most important things that ever come in contact with a patient during their hospital stay. 

It’s a sobering fact that the 3rd leading cause of death in the U.S., behind heart disease and cancer, is medical errors.1 While not all of them are tied to misidentified patients, a significant amount of these medical errors are related to patient IDs and 100% of them are preventable.2

Fortunately, providers can easily avoid patient ID errors by following proper process combined with the correct ID band.  As a leading supplier of patient ID bands in the U.S., PlatinumCode offers a wide variety of quality solutions.  Experience tells us that providers looking to make a change tend to fall into 2 categories:

  1. Providers who have already chosen a band that works for them but are either paying too much or having quality/service issues.
  2. Providers concerned the band they are using isn’t meeting their need and/or they have experienced patient safety issues relating to proper patient identification.

The first provider category is simple to resolve.  PlatinumCode carries a wide variety of quality wristbands.  Ranging from traditional poly or vinyl bands to high-tech laser and direct thermal bands. We offer free samples for our customers to confirm quality and usability, guarantee customer satisfaction, and can provide savings of up to 30%!

The second provider category is a little more complex, but PlatinumCode has a proven needs assessment to ensure all facility requirements are captured.

Click here to take our needs assessment survey.

Depending on your answers to these questions, PlatinumCode can recommend the perfect ID band option to meet your needs, including:

Laser Bands – Known for their convenience, laser bands have become the band of choice for thousands of providers. The wristband is integrated into an 8.5”x11” sheet that typically includes chart labels that remain in the patient chart after the wristband is removed and attached to the patient.

Direct Thermal Bands – Another popular choice among healthcare providers, this band is a favorite due to low cost and high-print quality. Direct Thermal bands do not require toner, ink or ribbons to print. Instead, specially-treated materials use heat to create a clear and durable image. 

Vinyl or Poly Bands – Also known as the “classic,” these ID bands have been used successfully in healthcare for decades. Available in a variety of styles including:

  1. Shield or Fold-Over (provides a mylar overlay protecting patient data)
  2. Write-On
  3. Imprinter
  4. Insert

Tyvek Bands – A favorite for outpatient use, these bands provide a simple and easy solution ideal for outpatient surgery centers or other situations where the patient needs to be banded for a short period of time.

To learn more, or to schedule a consultation, please contact us or visit our website at www.platinumcode.us.

 

References:

  1. https://www.usnews.com/news/articles/2016-05-03/medical-errors-are-third-leading-cause-of-death-in-the-us
  2. Dale, J. C., & Renner, S. W. (1997). Wristband Errors in Small Hospitals: A College of American Pathologists’ Q-Probes Study of Quality Issues in Patient Identification. Laboratory Medicine, 28(3), 203–207. doi: 10.1093/labmed/28.3.203
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