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NPSA Patient Wristband Specification

The National Patient Safety Agency (NPSA) is developing a standard specification for patient wristbands in the NHS in England and Wales. This second phase of work follows from earlier guidance issued in November 2005 and reported in this FHIT entry.

In Right Patient, Right Care the NPSA has already noted that mismatching patients and care is a serious and costly problem. It can be caused by patients not wearing a wristband, or by wearing one that provides unreliable identifiers. Between November 2003 and July 2005 the NPSA received 236 reports of patient safety incidents relating to missing or unreliable wristbands.

The NPSA's work is closely linked to other initiatives, such as:

  • Blood transfusion safety;

  • Medication safety;

  • Research into bedside checking of patients and care; and

  • Work with NHS CFH and Informing Healthcare.

You can read the full briefing sheet download file.

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