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

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.