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Archive November 2020 XXI, No. 11

Ideas That Work: Patient Safety

Signs Signal What Precautions to Take

Lora Crum
WARNING LABEL Laminated alerts ensure staff are aware of a patient's specific risk factors.

We’ve developed a sign system to alert staff and physicians about a patient’s risk factors such as allergies, falls, insulin dependence and skin tears. The signs are printed with large, upper-case lettering, laminated and clipped onto the patient’s IV pole, allowing staff to immediately see them when they walk into a room. These alerts are entered onto patients’ EMRs as well to cover all bases.

The signs work very well and have helped us avoid a couple near misses with latex allergies. They’re easy and affordable to make; we make them ourselves with computer paper and purchased a lamination machine. The signs are sanitized at the same time beds are cleaned. We used to print out and hang paper signs, but the laminated versions work better since we can pull and reuse them from a stock of already cleaned signs we have at the ready.

Lora Crum, RN
Gulf Coast Endoscopy and Surgery Center of Venice
Venice, Fla.

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