American Association for Clinical Chemistry
Better health through laboratory medicine
Patient Identification and Risk Management

March 14, 2007: Suzanne H. Butch, MA, MT(ASCP)SBB

While transfusion services have been concerned about patient identification for decades, accrediting agencies such as the Joint Commission and the College of American Pathologists have more recently joined the American Association of Blood Banks in emphasizing patient/specimen identification. Patient identification begins when the patient presents at the health care facility and does not end until treatments have been completed and the patient’s medical record has been finalized.

Risk management plays an essential role in preventing future errors. The application of quality management tools to analyze current practices, define the risks and implement strategies to reduce errors is essential to success. A well designed intervention will be cost effective as well as workable. Investing huge financial resources and technology in the intervention does not guarantee success. System planning and design that includes error proofing concepts are key elements.

Join a discussion of the good, the bad and the ugly issues in patient identification.