Color-coded wristbands enhance patient safety
Geisinger Health System has adopted a statewide patient safety initiative where patients wear coloredwristbands to identifycertain health care needs.
The “alert” color-coded wristbands are used to show staff, family and other caregivers a patient’s special needs, so that we can provide the safest health care possible.
Five colors have been specified to signal high priority health issues. They are:
This red wristband alerts staff to the fact that the patient has indicated that he or she has an allergy to something. This can be medications, food, dust, grass, pet hair, or more.
Yellow: Fall Risk
Patients wearing a yellow wristband may have become weakened as a result of their illness or injury, and need extra attention when moving from bed to a standing position, and when walking.
Purple: Do Not Resuscitate
For patients who have expressed an end-of-life care decision, a purple wristband indicates to staff – and confirms for families during this difficult time – that the patient does not wish to be resuscitated.
Green: Latex Allergy
The color green is used to signal “environment” – that is, the patients wearing green wristbands are allergic to latex, materials often found in the hospital environment in gloves and other medical equipment.
Pink: Restricted Extremity
At times, one of the patient’s arms is injured or is swollen from medical procedures, and it should not be used (if avoidable) for placement of a blood pressure cuff or IVs. A pink wristband is worn on the affected extremity.
Colors listed below apply only to Geisinger Health System:
- Tan – Communication barrier (deaf, mute, blind, non-English, etc.)
- Orange – Patient is receiving anticoagulation therapy.
- Red and White stripes – Patient is enrolled in the blood conservation program.
Danville campus only:
- Green and White stripes – Patient was typed and crossed for the OR.
In addition to specific color designations, inpatient wristbands will also have the corresponding patient condition printed on them to facilitate correct understanding among color-blind users.
How patients and their families can help
If you or your loved one has allergies – to latex, medication, foods, dust, pollen, pet dander or anything, please tell the patient’s nurse or other healthcare professional.
We want to keep your loved one safe, and prevent falls. If you know that your loved one occasionally loses his or her balance, may be unsteady when walking on certain flooring, or may be weakened from an illness or injury, please inform the healthcare team.
Upon admission to the hospital, please remove any social-cause wristbands or bracelets that may confuse or distract your care providers.
Remove wristbands that have been applied at another facility. Wristband standardization and implementation is voluntary. So to ensure that your wristband matches the Geisinger statewide system, and to enter your medical condition into your patient record at our facility, please be sure to remove any old wristbands upon admission here.
Contact your nurse if the wristband breaks or falls off, to have another reapplied immediately.