Safer care for pediatric patients at Regina General Hospital

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Staff at Regina General Hospital’s Pediatric Inpatient Unit 4F now perform routine checks to ensure pediatric patients (age 17 and under) are wearing identification (ID) wristbands. This helps reduce the likelihood that an ID band is missing prior to tests and procedures such as lab work, medication administration, transportation, and surgery.

Initially, when a patient is admitted to Regina General – including a pediatric patient – staff put on a standard ID wristband. If the wristband causes irritation, there is now a soft Velcro option available on Unit 4F for infants and small pediatric patients.

Previously, for any number of reasons, pediatric patients did not always wear ID wristbands. Staff have now implemented new processes to ensure that all pediatric patients are wearing their ID wristbands – and that staff are checking the wristbands each time they provide treatment.

Amy Craig, whose son Spencer is a pediatric patient, served as a patient advisor on this improvement work. She is pleased that Regina Qu’Appelle Health Region is taking measures to improve patient safety.

I find myself questioning everything because of past mistakes. As a parent, knowing that staff ensures patients wear the right ID gives me peace of mind.” – Amy Craig, mother of pediatric patient

Reasons for not wearing the ID wristbands related largely to irritation, but wristbands were also put on improperly and fell off, were attached to the crib/bed instead of the patient, or removed by the patient and/or their parents.

Improvements, such as including an ID reminder for staff on patient documents and posting messages to encourage patients to report issues, have reduced the number of patients without ID wristbands from 27% to next to none. The process to replace a missing wristband begins as soon as its absence is noted. Unit 4F staff audit once a day, and wristbands are consistently on the patient or in the process of being replaced. Additionally, the issue of attaching wristbands to the crib/bed has been addressed through awareness and education for staff, pediatric patients and their parents.

 

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