Photos will help avoid misidentification incidents at hospitals

Scunthorpe General Hospital
Scunthorpe General Hospital
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If you’re soon to be a patient at hospitals in Grimsby, Goole and Scunthorpe you may be asked if you mind having your photo taken.

It’s all part of efforts to further minimise the risk of patient misidentification incidents at Northern Lincolnshire and Goole NHS Foundation Trust.

WebV, the Trust’s bespoke ‘virtual ward’ system was designed alongside clinicians and is used by a number of staff including nurses, doctors, therapists and pharmacists to improve the way patients are managed on hospital wards. The system alerts staff when observations are overdue, gives access to test results and allows staff to view a whole ward or even an entire hospital virtually so it can be used as a bed management system. Staff can see which patients are on which ward, under which consultant and whether they have any particular health needs.

Now staff will also be able to see a photo of the patient when they are looking at their details.

Wendy Booth, director of performance assurance, said: “Patient misidentification incidents are rare but the consequences can be serious. Having a photo on the patient’s record is a simple but effective way to help us ensure there are no mix-ups with patients who have similar personal details.”

Patients will be asked for their consent before the photo is taken and anyone who wishes to have their photo removed from the system can request to do so. Around 400 photos have been taken so far.

This is just one of many features of the WebV system that can help improve the care provided to patients at the Trust’s three hospitals. It has already proved to be a benefit to patient care when it was used to help the Trust become compliant with national targets on dementia assessments.