Joint Commission advises on avoiding patient ID errors

To prevent patient identification errors that can result in treatment delays or giving treatment to the wrong patient, the Joint Commission released an advisory that provides recommendations for healthcare professionals relying on people or technology to identify patients.

Recommended safety actions to avoid inaccurate patient identification include:

  • Utilizing an active confirmation process to help match patients with documentation
  • Using a standardized process for patient identification and capturing patient information regardless of where registration happens
  • Ensuring information for accurate patient identification is clearly displayed on electronic displays, wristbands and printouts 
  • Implementing monitoring systems to detect identification errors, such as checking for duplicate patient records
  • Including high-specificity alerts to ensure accurate identification, such as warning users when they try to create a record for a new patient whose first and last names are the same as another patient

The advisory is available on the Joint Commission website

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