April 7 2009 - TMF Using New Patient Wristband System

For Immediate Release

April 7, 2009

John Moore
Media Relations
(903) 531-4542


Voluntary Effort Protects Patients

TYLER, TX -- Mother Frances Hospitals in Tyler and Jacksonville, ContinueCARE at Mother Frances Hospital-Tyler and Trinity Mother Frances Rehabilitation Hospital-affiliated with HealthSouth, joined other Texas hospitals to implement a voluntary standardized color-coded wristband patient safety initiative. The Texas Hospital Association in conjunction with the Texas Organization of Nurse Executives, Texas A&M Health Science Center Rural and Community Health Institute, and TMF HEALTH QUALITY INSTITUTE initiated the move in Texas to have all hospitals standardize to the same colors.

“This is one simple, but important, step to help ensure the safety of our patients,” said Laura Owen, FACHE, senior vice president of operations, Trinity Mother Frances Hospitals and Clinics. “Each wristband, by virtue of its color, expresses a particular care directive for clinicians. Once all hospitals agree to use the same colors, we can reduce the potential for error. Trinity Mother Frances is proud to join this statewide initiative.”

Three color-coded “alert” wristbands are being used in Texas as well as in hospitals in more than 25 other states. Red means allergy alert. Yellow means a risk of falls. Purple means the physician has written a do-not-resuscitate order based on the patient’s advance directives. In addition to the meaning associated with the specific color, the alert is written on the wristband to reduce the chance of confusion.

"It’s important for patients and family members to understand the meaning behind the wristband colors," added Owen. “By knowing the meaning of the colored wristbands, you can help caregivers meet your needs. If you have allergies to foods, pollens or medications, share that information when you are admitted. If you have a tendency to lose your balance, tell your nurse. And if you have an advance directive, please let your caregivers know so that they can honor your wishes.”

Officials recommend that when you come to the hospital, leave any “social cause” wristbands at home to avoid confusion.

Trinity Mother Frances Hospitals and Clinics includes Mother Frances Hospital-Tyler, Mother Frances Hospital-Jacksonville, Trinity Mother Frances Rehabilitation Hospital, affiliated with HealthSouth, and Trinity Clinic. Trinity Clinic is the area's preferred multispecialty medical group, with over 250 physicians and mid-level providers representing 37 specialties in 34 clinic locations serving east Texas. For more information on services available through Trinity Mother Frances Hospitals and Clinics, visit tmfhs.org.

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