Many Hospitals Change To Color Coded Wristbands - NBC Right Now/KNDO/KNDU Tri-Cities, Yakima, WA |

Many Hospitals Change To Color Coded Wristbands

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KENNEWICK, Wash.-- Since January 2008, Kennewick General Hospital has a new way of identifying their patients, color coded wristbands.

"We realize that staff were floating from hospital to hospital and we wanted the message about what the alert bands meant to be the same," said Kathleen Nordquist, Risk Manager for KGH.

A request for change coming from the Tri-Cities Patient Safety Coalition. But KGH isn't alone.

Along with KGH, Kadlec, Lourdes, and Prosser Memorial Hospital are also using the wristbands, a change many people in the community think is a good idea.  

"It's a good change I like it, if they get transferred and they have a wristband from Kadlec or Lourdes, they just want to keep track of everybody," said Nakia Miller, a Kennewick resident.

Before this change wristbands in each hospital may have had a different meaning, but with staff and patient transfers, color coding seems to be a good option

"This is the do not resuscitate band and it's just a purple band," said Nordquist.  

"And the red one is to write allergies on, so if a patient has an allergy to a medicine or a food it's documented on this band and placed on their wrist," said Nordquist.

"If a patient is identified at risk for a fall, then they would have this band on and specific measures would be put in place," said Nordquist.

Doctors agree the change is good, as long as all hospital staff is fully aware.

"If you have someone for example that's at fall risk, and you're going in that room bringing the patient some food, and you see that patient getting out of bed, you can immediately notify the nurse and go help that patient because you know that patient is a fall risk," said Dr. Sharon Ahart, a Pediatrician in Kennewick.