Can Barcoded Wristbands Help in Blood Transfusion Errors?


Each year, thousands of patients across the country have blood transfusions performed for various reasons. Owing to the fact that there is absolutely no room for error with regards to ensuring that the patient receives the correct blood type, a new innovation has been developed that will help ensure complete accuracy in this regard in the form of barcoded wristbands.

Ensuring Accurate Information

When handwritten wristbands are used on hospital patients, there is always the possibility of a nurses handwriting being illegible. This can result in fatal errors being made when it comes to patient care especially where blood transfusions are concerned. However, a new system has been implemented by the NHS that involves the use of the barcoded wristbands in conjunction with handheld PDAs. When scanning the barcode on a patients wristband, an accurate representation of all of his or her health-related information is made available on the PDA immediately.

Tremendous Time Savings

Before the barcoded wristband system was implemented, the procedure of performing all of the necessary checks associated with blood transfusion patients would have had to have been carried out by a team of two nurses. However, the new system not only provides the most accurate patients information possible; it only requires the services of a single nurse to carry out. This means that only half the amount of nursing staff is required to perform the task, which frees more employees up to serve the needs of other patients within the health care facility.

More Cost-Effective Health Care

In cases where finances are tight, an updated system like this can even enable a facility to reduce the amount of nurses or other health care employees it hires, which will in turn help make the facility as cost-effective as possible. When a hospital is able to successfully reduce its operating costs while still being able to provide top quality care to its patients, these cost savings can then be passed on to the end users as well namely, the patients, or even tax payers in cases where Medicare and Medicaid patients are concerned.

Added Benefits

Thanks to the new barcoded wristband system, patients in these health care facilities will now only be required to wear a single wristband. This eliminates a lot of confusion and saves time in that no information will have to be handwritten again. The amount of errors and adverse incident reports involving blood transfusion procedures has also decreased substantially in these facilities, which not only helps reduce stress levels for employees; it also allows patients minds to be put at ease by knowing that they will receive the correct treatment at all times.

Hospitals all over the country are under tremendous amounts of pressure to provide a more professional and efficient level of health care to patients. Implementing a system like this one that involves the use of barcoded wristbands will go a long way in helping to achieve that goal in the most timely and cost-effective manner possible.

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