Identification processes at LMH Health help keep patients safe
When coming to LMH Health, patients may experience many processes that feel repetitive, like providing personal information including their name, date of birth and the reason for their visit. These processes aren’t just so doctors and other providers can get to know their patients better. They are asked in order to keep patients safe.
LMH Health uses an identification procedure called For Your Safety to ensure that the right patients are getting the right services.
“If you have been a patient at LMH Health, you may have noticed that many times we will ask: ‘For your safety, please state your full name and your date of birth,'” said Mardi Bowlin, patient safety officer for LMH Health. “Though we understand this can seem redundant, it is a part of what we do to offer the highest level of care. This verification ensures that we’re matching the correct service to the correct patient.”
Bowlin said that it’s critical that these verification procedures take place at various times when patients visit a clinic or have an inpatient stay.
“Asking these questions over and over again may give the impression that the care team is not communicating, but it’s quite the opposite,” Bowlin said.
And Janette Kirkpatrick, vice president for clinical excellence, said that just to be certain, it’s important to have multiple ways to identify the patient in these checks.
“Every step in our patients’ experience, from identification of our patients to testing and diagnosis, should be accompanied by verifying our patients’ identity with two patient identifiers,” Kirkpatrick said. “In this case, that is his/her name and date of birth.”
Kirkpatrick said that everyone has a role in making health care safe, and that all LMH Health providers and associates are responsible for these identification checks.
Of course, these simple verification measures aren’t the only information that health care professionals need to keep patients safe and ensure they get the right care. Danel Cupps, director for risk management, compliance and the medical staff office at LMH Health, said patients shouldn’t be shy to ask questions and share more information on their own.
“When you ask questions about your stay, medications or other aspects of your care and recovery, our team is there to support your health journey and provide you with answers,” Cupps said. “Patients should be active participants in the identification process, and this starts with those details associated with your care. Verifying the spelling of your name is just the first step.”
— Jessica Brewer is the social media and digital communications specialist at LMH Health, which is a major sponsor of the Journal-World’s Health section.