Safety

Tip of the week: Think about how you’d locate a missing patient

Hospital Safety Insider, January 7, 2009

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Last month, we reported on a patient who wandered onto the roof of The University of Pittsburgh Medical Center Montefiore and died overnight in the freezing temperatures. The medical center has since made some changes that may be worth reviewing at your own facility.
 
Among the enhancements are the following, according to the hospital:
  • The hospital has created a procedure--modeled after clinical rapid response teams--in which all available staff members will begin a search for patients who wander from their units. A code word will also be announced over the PA system.
  • With patient or family permission, the hospital will take photos at admission of patients who are at risk for wandering. In the event an at-risk patient goes missing, the photo will be e-mailed to employees.
  • At-risk patients will wear distinctly colored hospital gowns to help identify them.
  • Signs have been posted on all mechanical room doors indicating they must remain locked. The hospital’s security and maintenance departments will inspect doors daily leading to mechanical areas and roofs to ensure they’re locked.
The patient who died went through a broken door into a boiler room, and from there was able to get onto the roof through an unlocked door.



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Comments

1 comments on “Tip of the week: Think about how you’d locate a missing patient

Erika (3/14/2012 at 6:34 AM)
What do MDs do when the correct ecidmal quality measure is done, such as not giving an antiboitic for a viral cold but getting dinged by patients disatifaction reports. Md get paid less for doing the proper ecidmal non treatment that the patient disagree with? How will the md combat erronus complaints w/O violating hippa requirements. Seems like a one way street wo a fair chance to rebut. ??

 

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