All patients are positively identified with two patient identifiers prior to initiating a medical imaging or therapeutic procedure
Importance of patient identification
- Verify patient identifiers against all requests to ensure the procedures/treatments are provided to the correct patients1.
- Accreditation Canada cites client verification with two patient identifiers as a required organizational practice (ROP)2.
- The World Health Organization Collaborating Centre for Patient Safety Solutions encourages the use of at least two identifiers to verify a patient’s identity upon admission or transfer1.
Patient identification in practice
- The identifiers obtained need to be specific to the patient:
- Patient name and date of birth constitute two valid identifiers1,2
- Medical record number, accurate patient photograph, home address (confirmed by patient or family), provincial health card number, client barcode and patient wristband are also valid identifiers2
- Patient room number is NOT a valid identifier2
- Obtain information using open questions and have the patient positively state the information, rather than asking for confirmation of information provided.
- For example: “What is your date of birth?” as opposed to “Is your date of birth January 1, 1950?”
Joint Commission. Patient Identification. Patient Safety Solutions 2007;1(2):1-4. Available from: https://www.who.int/patientsafety/solutions/patientsafety/PS-Solution2.pdf. [Accessed 7 Jan 2019]
Accreditation Canada. Required Organizational Practices 2016. Available from: http://accreditation.ca/sites/default/files/rop-handbook-2016-en.pdf. [Accessed 13 Nov 2016]