PERSPECTIVE ARTICLE


Towards Safe Patient Identification Practices: the Development of a Conceptual Framework from the Findings of a Ph.D. Project



Helena De Rezende1, *, Marta Maria Melleiro2
1 Faculty of Health, Science, Social Care and Education, Kingston University London, Room FL 1021, Frank Lampl Building, Kingston Hill Campus, Kingston Hill, KT2 7LB, London, UK
2 School of Nursing, University of Sao Paulo, Sao Paulo-SP, Brazil


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Creative Commons License
© 2022 De Rezende and Melleiro

open-access license: This is an open access article distributed under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 International Public License (CC-BY 4.0), a copy of which is available at: https://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/4.0/legalcode. This license permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original author and source are credited.

* Address correspondence to this author at the Faculty of Health, Science, Social Care and Education, Kingston University London, Room FL 1021, Frank Lampl Building, Kingston Hill Campus, Kingston Hill, KT2 7LB, London, UK; Tel: +44 (0) 2084165457; E-mails: h.derezende@kingston.ac.uk


Abstract

Patient identification errors are considered the root cause of other patient safety incidents. Despite the development, recommendation, and application of several initiatives to reduce and prevent misidentification in hospital settings, errors continue to occur. They directly impact the quality of care provided, resulting in delays in care, added costs, unnecessary injuries, misdiagnosis or wrong treatment, and other serious and irreversible types of harm and death. Furthermore, the certainty of the evidence of the effectiveness of interventions to reduce patient identification errors is considered very low.

This paper reports on the development of a conceptual framework for safe practices in the area of patient identification. The proposed conceptual framework was developed based on presuppositions regarding learning health systems and the available evidence from the published systematic reviews of the effectiveness of interventions in reducing patient identification errors in hospital settings. The core circle of the framework represents the partnership between managers, healthcare professionals, patients, and families working toward integrative and collaborative efforts for safe patient identification practices. The inner dimension states the recommendations for practice sustained by applying technological resources and educational strategies to raise awareness of the importance of accurate patient identification and interdisciplinarity, which works as an axis that supports integrated and collective work between healthcare professionals aiming for safe care. The outer dimension represents recommendations for teaching and research to develop effective patient identification practices that can enhance patient safety and the quality of care provided in hospital settings.

This framework provides a valuable method for engaging interdisciplinary teams to improve the safety of patient identification systems.

Keywords: Patient safety, Patient identification systems, Learning health systems, Hospitals, Inpatients, Interdisciplinarity.