Written by Linda Trask, Manager of Laboratory Solutions, Iatric Systems
Eliminating errors is key to your clinicians, but this often requires precise data and a streamlined process. In our recent virtual event, the iatricSystems Fall Exchange, we brought together healthcare experts and industry leaders to discuss the top IT challenges healthcare organizations face daily.
Read on to learn highlights and top insights about how PPID improves patient safety, or you can watch the full recording on-demand.
Resolving Mislabeled Specimens for Better Patient Care
Healthcare systems can never ignore the importance of positive patient identification as it's critical that patients be matched accurately with the lab specimens. The results of the the tests performed on the patient comprise the bulk of their medical records. According to a study published in the Archives of Pathology and Laboratory Medicine, specimen labeling errors account for 55.5% of the lab's identification errors.
There’s a real patient identification problem that affects not only multiple departments within a healthcare organization but can lead to the mistreatment of a patient and potentially end in death. Hospitals don’t take these statistics lightly and are working together to prioritize patient safety with PPID.
During the session Four Hospitals, One Big Discussion: How PPID Improves Patient Safety, the panel discusses the real-life challenges with mislabeled specimens and how PPID tools have positively impacted their organization on many different levels.
Robin Currier, LIS Coordinator at St. Joseph Hospital, recalls an unforgettable situation that happened within their division a few years ago when a patient was admitted to the emergency department for a possible cerebral hemorrhage – “At the time, the nurses in the ED would routinely draw a rainbow of blood tubes in anticipation of orders and the patient's initial samples were drawn using that same process. A type-and-cross match was ordered subsequently. When a nurse went into the room to do the draw, she found a pink-top vacutainer blood labeled with a previous patient’s information and applied the current patients label over the existing label and sent it to the lab.”
“The lab staff accepted that double labeled vacutainer without questioning the validity of it. And approximately 12 hours after admission, the patient who was truly B-positive received one unit of A-positive FFP and one unit of A-positive of packed red cells. She suffered a severe transfusion reaction and despite aggressive treatment the patient was unable to be resuscitated.”
“It's the nightmare we all fear. This tragedy really was a result of a cascade of errors, but if a PPID solution had been in place, it could have been prevented from the beginning.”
The group of clinicians also go on to discuss how their processes changed and improved after implementing a barcode specimen tool.
Robin Currier from St. Joseph Hospital expressed how her team had to weigh their options to find the right solution for their needs – "I think when you're trying to fund these projects, it's probably hard to put a price on safety and there certainly are some hard calls. But, there are gained staffing efficiencies. We saw turnaround times improve so that means our throughput of getting patients in and out of the emergency room or to another floor is improved and there certainly cost benefits associated with that."
Kelsy Diekhans of Benefis Health System noted another efficiency and process improvement – "Our nurses were able to see what tubes needed to be drawn and in what order. That's a feature we didn't have before so there's a lot of additional benefits beyond just patient safety."
Pam Stehmer from Doctors Community Hospital noted how using a barcoding tool spread throughout her hospital – “Once the nurses realized that there was a much quicker way than going into the medical records for each of their patients, they bought in immediately and our whole hospital is now on MobiLab throughout the facility; ER, Lab, Medical, Surgery, Pre-op recovery, everyone uses it.”
Improving patient safety will always be a top priority – and a top discussion – for healthcare organizations. Keep an eye out for the other clinical session recaps from the Fall Exchange, coming soon.
Additionally, if you have any questions or would like to learn more about our solutions, please reach out to us at firstname.lastname@example.org