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Color-coded banding for patient safety


Dec. 19, 2007: ProMedica Health System is joining other health care facilities to increase patient safety. The system is implementing a recommendation by the Ohio Patient Safety Institute (OPSI) to standardize the use of colored patient wristbands which are used to identify certain patient conditions, such as allergies or the risk for falls.


Prior to this initiative, Ohio health care providers were using 19 different wristband colors which represented 28 different meanings. This is a risk to patient safety when health care providers, such as nurses, work at multiple facilities that use different colors. 


The OPSI recommends that all health care providers use the same four colors which have the following meanings:


Band color



Patient Identification




Fall Risk


Blood product available for possible transfusion


“Patients put their trust in us and we take that responsibility very seriously,” says Robert Reiter, MD, senior vice president of Quality and Clinical Performance Improvement. “We are fully committed to this new process which will help increase patient safety.”


By the end of December, the following ProMedica facilities will implement standardized colors: Bay Park Community Hospital, Defiance Regional Medical Center, Fostoria Community Hospital, Flower Hospital, The Toledo Hospital and Toledo Children’s Hospital. In January, the new process will also take effect at Bixby Medical Center and Herrick Medical Center in Michigan and in the ProMedica Continuing Care Services Corporation facilities in Ohio and Michigan.






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