THE USE OF COLOR-CODED WRISTBANDS AND THEIR MEANING...
Statewide patient safety initiatives
In Missouri and surrounding regions, healthcare providers are working together to make healthcare safer. One way this is being done is by using the same methods and processes between healthcare providers and healthcare professionals to avoid confusion that can occur when patients are seen in different healthcare settings and by different healthcare professionals.
One such effort, Banding Together - for patient safety, is a project that encourages healthcare providers to use the same three colors for wristbands that are used in hospitals to designate high priority clinical conditions - allergies, fall risk, and do not resuscitate orders. The wristband colors are an alert to patients, families, and staff to assure clear and timely communication about important clinical conditions that may affect the care provided.
Our hospital is happy to participate in this effort to improve communication and the safety of care provided to our patients.
What is a colored wristband?
Wristbands are used in hospitals to quickly communicate certain healthcare information. Some of the wristbands are colored and designate certain healthare conditions and status to readily alert everyone who cares for the patient.
The different colors have different meanings. In addition, words are included on the wristband to further reduce the chance of confusion about the alert messages.
Many people also wear "social cause" wristbands that are colored such as the yellow "Live Strong" bracelets, pink breast cancer awareness bracelets and others that support special causes. If you wear any of these "social cause" wristbands, we ask that you remove them while in the hospital to avoid any possible confusion among these bands and those used for purposes of your health care.
What do the wristband colors mean?
RED means Allergy Alert - Tell us about all of your allergies.
YELLOW means Fall Risk - Yellow is a caution sign to staff alert about patients that may be more likely to fall.
PURPLE means DNR - We want to comply with any end-of-life wishes you may have.
Involving Patients and Family members
It is important that patients and their families know the meaning of wristband colors used in this hospital because you are the best source of information.
Keep Us Informed
If there is information we do not know, such as an allergy you have to food, medicine, dust, grass, pet hair, latex, ANYTHING - tell us. It is important for us to know all of these allergies to help us provide the best possible care to you while you are in the hospital.
If you have a tendency to lose your balance and almost fall, let us know. Then we will be alert to the need for caution when you are up and walking in the hospital to prevent falls.
If you have an Advance Directive, let us know. An Advance Directive tells your healthcare providers what kind of care you want if you become unable to make medical decisions. We want to make sure we respect and honor your wishes.
Our hospital is pleased to be working with other providers in the state to use the same methods or processes - like the use of color-coded wristbands to make health care safer for our patients.