A trio of firms have been contracted to supply wristbands to NHS hospitals in England and Wales.
The contract is designed to address research findings by the National Patient Safety Agency’s (NPSA) that 72% of more than 24,000 annual errors in UK hospitals resulted from instances where patients did not wear wristbands.
The wristbands, to be supplied by Laserband from the USA, Japan’s Sato and Brenmoor from the UK, will employ technology that allows for clear printing of patient information as well as barcodes and even patient photos to ensure proper patient identification.
The NPSA recently issued advice to all NHS organisations on standardising patient wristbands and defined a set of stringent wristband requirements in a bid to significantly reduce medical errors. All hospitals have now been called on to implement a patient identification system by July 2009 which will see all patient wristbands generated and printed from hospital demographic systems.
Tony Rich, head of information management and technology for the Wrightington, Wigan & Leigh NHS Trust, which tested the LaserBand wristbands, said: “A simple patient identification wristband can be the difference between the wrong treatment being administered and the right one.
“We believe the wristbands provide the Trust with a safe, high-quality, easy-to-implement solution for identifying patients properly, which will reduce the potential number of medical errors made in our hospitals.”
Paul Brennan of Brenmoor said: “To be chosen by the NHS Supply Chain as the only European manufacturer of printable wristbands is an exciting and challenging prospect, and we are very much looking forward to working alongside them in the coming years.”
Copyright PA Business 2008