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.
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