Identifying patients with bar coded wristbands is a first step healthcare organizations can take to make these
improvements. Checking the "Five Rights"—Right Patient, Right Medication, Right Dose, Right Time and
Right Method of Administration—prevents most medication errors. But all too often, the five rights check is
flawed because it fails to guarantee the right patient. Today, approximately 5 percent of patient wristbands
are erroneous or missing altogether. Missing, poor-quality, and incorrect wristbands are a major contributing
factor to many adverse events.
Bar coded patient wristbands provide the necessary foundation for preventing errors by ensuring accurate
patient information is always available at the point of care. Bar code wristbands will improve the effectiveness
of five rights checks for medication administration and provide a platform to extend safeguards to other
patient care activities.
Automated medication administration, electronic health records, computerized physician order entry (CPOE),
bar code point-of-care (BPOC) and other automated procedures for improving patient care all rely on accurate
input that bar coding can provide. This white paper will explain the role wristbands can play in improving
patient safety and freeing nurses and other valuable medical personnel from paperwork and clerical tasks.