Thursday, August 26, 2010

Getting on the Bandwagon

LifeBridge Health is on the bandwagon - the wristband bandwagon, that is.

Poor communication about risk factors can lead to negative effects. “Get on the Bandwagon” is a patient safety campaign to standardized color wristbands that alert caregivers to some risks patients may face.

For example, a patient may be allergic to penicillin, in which case they would be asked to wear a red wristband. Another patient may be at risk for a fall, in which case they would wear yellow. More than a third of adults over the age of 65 fall each year, and preventing falls has been a major effort at LifeBridge Health.

The risk factors and their coordinating colors are:

The colors are:
  • Purple: do not resuscitate
  • Red: allergy
  • Green: latex allergy
  • Pink: restricted extremity
  • Yellow: fall risk
The "Get on the Bandwagon” campaign is an initiative of the Maryland Hospital Association (MHA) and the Maryland Patient Safety Center (MPSC). Since many health care workers float between facilities, standardizing the colors across the state will help with a clear message. Employees are also asked to reiterate the importance of the wristbands to patients and families in order to promote education around the program.

According to the Maryland Patient Safety Center, more than 30 states are using the color-coded wristbands already, or plan to implement the program soon.

To read more about Get On the Bandwagon, click here.

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