In a California Healthline Special Report by Deirdre Kennedy, experts discuss potential benefits and pitfalls of color-coded wristbands, which hospitals nationwide use to help alert staff to problems like drug allergies or indicate patient preferences, such as “Do not resuscitate.”
The problem is that hospitals use a wide variety of colors with little standardization for what those colors mean.
The Special Report includes comments from:
- Jan Emerson, vice-president for external affairs at California Hospital Association;
- Beth Feldpush, senior associate director for policy at the American Hospital Association; and
- Niraj Sehgal, an internist and patient safety expert at UC-San Francisco.
Emerson said, “It’s really important to understand that color-coded wrist bands are not the way of determining what a patient’s risk factors are for allergies or falls or that sort of thing. The clinicians should always be looking in a patient’s chart and the wristbands are sort of a secondary method for communicating in a fast paced environment.” (Kennedy, California Healthline, 10/15).