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.
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.
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.
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