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

The Open Nursing Journal 10 Nov 2022 PERSPECTIVE ARTICLE DOI: 10.2174/18744346-v16-e2209290


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.
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