It’s true. It’s simple.
The last three numbers on the medical bracelet placed on the arm of patients in the emergency department are they key numbers for a new collaborative that aims to reduce the number of mislabeled labs that occur.
The new collaborative called The Final Check is showing signs of great improvement in six South Carolina hospitals/systems – Baptist Easley, Georgetown Hospital System, Palmetto Health, Roper St. Francis Healthcare and the Regional Medical Center of Orangeburg Calhoun Counties and Carteret General Hospital in North Carolina. The aim is to make a 90 percent improvement in 90 days.
When the labels are placed on the blood vials at the bedside, the person taking the blood checks the last three numbers on the patient’s medical records bracelet against the last three numbers on the vial’s label, saying each number out loud.
The key is saying it out loud.
The participating hospitals implemented the new process in January 2012. In March, hospitals are showing a 90 percent improvement. In April, there’s a 93 percent improvement.
“It’s not a quick fix,” said Lorri Gibbons, South Carolina Hospital Association vice president of quality improvement and patient safety. “It requires a change in process to keep our patients safe.”
The Final Check, a program developed by Outcome Engenuity, was first tested in Palmetto Health Richland’s emergency department in 2011.
“The numbers decreased tremendously,” said Before implementation at Palmetto Health, Shelly Rorie, director of patient safety at Palmetto Health.
“It’s an easy intervention that is part of a bigger philosophical shift,” added David Marx, CEO of Outcome Engenuity.
It doesn’t cost the hospital anything to implement The Final Check. There is no need for additional staff, money or time. It does however involve altering the routine and cultural shifts for those drawing the samples.
The participating South Carolina hospitals have said they are looking to roll The Final Check throughout their facilities, not just for blood samples. The Regional Medical Center of Orangeburg and Calhoun Counties (tRMC) and Roper St. Francis Healthcare System are looking to use the Final Check for urine collections as well.