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News Release

Media Contact: Jenna Melton

Published on July 06, 2016

Adventist HealthCare Implements New Patient Safety Initiative

Gaithersburg, MD – Adventist HealthCare is the first health system in Montgomery County to join the “Get on the Bandwagon” patient wristband initiative led by the Maryland Hospital Association (MHA) and the Maryland Patient Safety Center (MPSC). The initiative was developed to improve communication between caregivers, patients and families through the use of standardized colored wristbands to indicate certain patient risk factors and special needs.

“We are committed every day to providing safe patient care and we are honored to join this important initiative to help further our mission,” said Terry Forde, president and CEO of Adventist HealthCare, the first and largest healthcare system in Montgomery County. “By implementing this initiative, we are adding another layer of safety for our patients.”

There are five different, color-coded alert wristbands designed to quickly communicate a certain health status or risk factor that a patient may have. Patients will be asked to wear a wristband as an alert to their caregivers for:

  • Those who are at risk for falling;
  • Suffer from an allergy;
  • Have a latex allergy;
  • Have restricted limb use;
  • Have chosen not to be resuscitated.

To avoid confusion, patients will be asked to remove any social cause bracelets or physical activity trackers, such as Fitbits, upon admission. In addition, the words for the alerts are also displayed on the wristbands to reduce the chance of misinterpretation.

“Ensuring clear communication is a key factor in providing a healthcare environment free of errors and improving patient safety,” said Debra Illig, vice president of clinical effectiveness and patient safety at Adventist HealthCare. “Standardized colored wristbands help to provide consistent communication across the healthcare continuum.”

According to the MPSC, poor communication is a leading contributing factor to adverse events that occur in healthcare settings. Maryland’s neighboring states, including Virginia, Pennsylvania, Delaware, West Virginia and New Jersey, have all adopted color coded wristband standardization programs. The initiative seeks to make it easier for healthcare providers across the Mid-Atlantic Region to identify those patients with specific health conditions.

Adventist HealthCare the first and largest healthcare system in Montgomery County, offers a full range of health and wellness services to the community including acute hospital care, rehabilitation, mental and behavioral health services, home care, health education, a physician network and wellness services for businesses. These include Adventist HealthCare Shady Grove Medical Center; Adventist HealthCare Washington Adventist Hospital; Adventist HealthCare Physical Health & Rehabilitation; Adventist HealthCare Behavioral Health & Wellness Services and Adventist HealthCare Home Care Services. Based in Gaithersburg, Maryland, Adventist HealthCare is one of the largest employers in Maryland, with approximately 6,000 employees. Our mission is to demonstrate God’s care by improving the health of people and communities through a ministry of physical, mental and spiritual healing.

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