Selecting the Right Patient Wristband for Your Facility - NEPS

Selecting the Right Patient Wristband for Your Facility

by Robert Wickham | October 21, 2014

Wristbands can be a contentious subject. Once I was invited to a hospital to speak with them about wristband options, because they wanted to standardize on one band across the entire facility. I walked into a room filled with nurses from every department – ER, maternity, outpatient, etc. – and almost every department had a different need. They had great difficulty in reaching consensus, and some of the stakeholders had to make compromises, and nobody likes to compromise when you’re trying to give every patient the best care possible.


One thing for certain: there is no silver bullet when it comes to wristbands

If you combine all the variations of bands that our manufacturers offer, we probably have at least 100 different styles of bands. It’s somewhat amusing that people don’t even agree that it’s called a wristband; in some facilities it’s an “armband” or in the case of infants and neonates it might be a “legband” or a “cuff.”

Believe it or not, we’ve even been approached by large veterinary hospitals to provide banding solutions for pets. (Apparently Positive Patient ID isn’t just for people anymore!) So rather than lead by demonstrating wristbands to our customers, when we get a call we first try to take a detailed look at their application, and then we make recommendations. Long-term rehab hospitals have much different needs than say, a NICU.

NEPS has been selling software that enables Positive Patient ID for years, and over the years we’ve learned a thing or two. Our software enables just about any commercially available wristband on the market, and while we have strategic alliances with almost every major manufacturer of bands, we print on wristbands that are sometimes provided by us and sometimes not.

Checklist of considerations for selecting a wristband

  • Sizes Supported – from bariatric to preemie
  • Patient Comfort – Flexibility of material; sharp edges (comfort for geriatric / preemie)
  • Durability / useful life of the band (and your average stay)
  • Resistance to chemicals, mild cleaners, water
  • Antimicrobial characteristics
  • Ease of use when applying and removing
  • Hypoallergenic characteristics
  • Print quality & barcode support (especially 2-D barcodes)
  • Ability to support dynamic color printing for patient alerts (DNR, allergy, fall risk, etc.)
  • The ability to support printing of a patient photo
  • Closure – clip versus adhesive closure / tamper evidence
  • Does it require the use of a separate label?
  • Infrastructure needs: existing printer technologies, print speeds required, auxiliary drawers, available workspace
  • Downtime considerations – can the band be used in downtime?

The above list has served us well over the years but we all learn something new everyday, so I welcome your input. In case you’re wondering, that hospital I was telling you about standardized on three wristbands, not one. While it’s a noble pursuit and there are lots of reasons to try to standardize on one band, it is also true that one size doesn’t fit all, and that’s OK too.

Download your copy of the wristband checklist in PDF format

Selecting the Right Wristband Checklist NEPS

Improve patient safety in your organization by selecting the right wristband solution by using this checklist. Download now…


For more information, please contact
Nicole Robinson at (610) 446-4000 ex 6028

Parmetech and NEPS

Parmetech and NEPS have formed a strategic partnership to
improve the patient experience, enhance patient safety and reduce costs for healthcare organizations.

Parmetech Inc. is a certified Minority and Woman Owned Small Business Enterprise.