Accurate Patient ID in Senior Healthcare

Many senior patients who leave the hospital, stop by a post-hospitalization care center on the way home.

The patient needs excellent senior healthcare while they are in post-acute rehab on a residential basis. The staff have a great responsibility to identify a patient correctly and continue the senior healthcare from where the patient left off, in the hospital.

Apart from the unpleasantness and confusion, the goal is to avoid infection.


The Patient’s Role in Identification

What part does the patient play in making sure they are given the correct treatment?

A nurse will ask for identifying details before she administers treatment.

She may ask for a minimum of two details, such as the patient’s:

  • name
  • medical ID or record number
  • date of birth
  • phone number
  • SSN
  • address

The patient has to be ready and willing to supply the information, says the WHO . If the patient can’t say it, perhaps they should have a card with their information clearly printed on it.

The patient should understand that by giving identification answers correctly, they are ensuring they get the correct treatment.

Sometimes patients have similar names. In that case, a patient should be able to say a detail that makes them stand out. The patient could tack on a warning:

My name is John Smith, you should know that there is another patient with a similar name. I am the one with the very tall son.”

Another idea: The patient’s own home-made ‘slogan’ that the patient answers with each time, even something as simple as:

I am Delores, my friends call me Dolly.”


The Family and Friends’ Role in Identification

What can the family and friends of a patient do to help the busy staff identify the patient correctly?

  1. Patient identity management is a challenge for all institutions and healthcare organization. Often patient identity is kept on and collected from a database. Staff need to do their best to ensure the right patient gets the right treatment, tests, and medications. Family and friends who are following the well-being of a patient should keep tabs on the medical plan being administered. It is not called ‘stepping on the toes’ of the medical staff.
  2. Pay attention to the medications that were given, ask the patient what tests were done, what their progress is in therapy and so on. Parents have to do that for small children who cannot stand up for themselves, and grown children have to do it for parents and older friends, as well.
  3. Family members should also know answers to all the identifying details about a senior-aged loved one.
  4. What if you want to buy your loved one a present while they are in rehab or in post-acute care? Let it be a hat or scarf with their name on it, a pretty necklace or wrist band with their name and date of birth on it. Something that stands out and helps identify the patient. These may help staff to avoid embarrassing errors.
  5. For patients who cannot communicate because they suffered a stoke, make sure that their identifying details really stand out, because they cannot say their own names. Put a photo of the patient next to their bed, with their name clearly printed underneath.


The Amazing Dedicated Staff

Of course, staff do their best, and they do an excellent job of looking after patients under their care.

Help the staff in any way that you can.

Making patient identification management easier for the staff, is one thing that everyone can do right.


A Blessing  – Not In Disguise

This will be a blessing for everyone involved in senior healthcare. It makes it easier for the staff to perform the senior healthcare accurately , since they can identify the patient more easily. It makes it easier for the patient, who knows they are getting the correct treatment. It puts family and friends at ease since they know that their loved one is getting the correct and best senior healthcare that they can.



senior healthcare in an institution is enhanced by accurate patient identification

Senior healthcare in an institution is enhanced by accurate patient

Photo by Baard Hansen on Unsplash

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