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Issues with patient ID wristbands resolved at Ulster Hospital by changing supplier

At Ulster Hospital, patient ID wristbands were frequently going missing. Undeniably, causing problems for the phlebotomy team. Increasing risk for patients. Moreover, too many wristbands were being lost each day. Reduced to only 20 after the launch of the initiative.


ID wristbands are imperative to making sure patients receive the highest care possible. However, the phlebotomy team at Ulster had issues with patients having missing bands. Or similarly, where the writing had become illegible.


Heather George is a Phlebotomist at Ulster. Furthermore, she explains that it is not possible for a patient to receive help. If they are missing a wristband. Furthermore, the problem is very frustrating. Because it is a frequent occurrence in our department. Moreover, wristbands must identify patients 24/7.


How did Ulster tackle quality issues?


Wristband loss typically involved up to 20 patients per day. Morevoer, factors causing this include:

• wristband quality
• easy removal
• removal of bands by staff who don’t replace them


Testing of multiple wristband types occured. Specifically, water resistance. Or ability to be removed. Eventually, the existing contract was ended. And replaced with a new contract. The old contract was eventually cancelled. Despite being a difficult process. And significantly, a new contract was secured with the new supplier.


Staff education


The team initially spent time on one ward. Specifically, educating individuals on the important role of wristbands for patient safety. And also how to avoid dangerous incidents. E.g. administering the wrong medicine to the wrong person. Simultaneously, nurses were educated on the importance of checking all patients wristbands. Making sure that missing ones were replaced. Markedly, staff were educated via posters placed around the wards. Meanwhile, importance of replacing wristbands was given to patients. If they became lost or damaged.


Subsequently, the entire hospital eventually adapted the same procedure.

Positive results were achieved over one ward. So the initiative was eventually rolled out to the entire hospital. 95% of original issues were eradicated. Meanwhile, a recent audit revealed 95% complience.


Heather goes on to explain that the new process makes things much easier. Removing repetition. Furthermore, patient safety has also improved. Undoubtedly, reducing risk of future serious incidents.


The initiative has been very successful. Rolled out to other regional hospitals


Why can some wristbands be so problematic?


Issues experienced at Ulster are not uncommon at other UK institutions. Risk of patients loosing personal data, writing becoming illegible and poor quality of wristbands are all common issues. However, other issues can occur too. e.g.

• Wristbands causing irritation or discomfort
• Text easily removed by various substances
• Data loss
• Being unhygienic
• Being expensive
• Difficulty printing because of the ribbon required


How are the products on offer from ASL different?

At ASL, we sell a range of wristbands that aim to tackle these issues.

DT wristbands. Cost effective, safe and comfortable to wear. Resistant to harsh hospital environments but non-irritant to skin. Printed using direct thermal technology. Which eliminates the need for a ribbon. High quality print ensures legible text. Retained throughout the patients stay. Moreover, risk of patients losing the band becomes reduced. Because it is tamper proof.



Eco wristbands. A reliable and cost-effective wristband. Thermal printing gets rid of the need for a ribbon. Meaning that printed information remains crisp and durable. The wristband is soft and synthetic. It ensures maximum comfort for the duration of the patients stay. As well as being hypoallergenic and latex free. Ensuring maximum patient comfort. The wristband is resistant to water, soap and solvents. Data remains legible and high quality for the duration of the patients stay. The wristband comes in a choice of either clip (adult) or clip/adhesive with tamper evidence system (adults and infants) This ensures that data is non-transferrable on admission.



Laser wristbands. Quick and easy to produce. Compatible with an inkjet printer. Self-adhesive and tamper proof. Ensuring security of patient data. The labels are robust enough to last up to one week. And can withstand hot water and soap. The wristbands are ideal to use with patients existing features. Soft, synthetic material ensures patient comfort. Also latex free.



RFID wristbands. Great for patient safety and security. Patient disturbance is minimal. Thanks to scanning from distance. Printable using direct thermal technology. Eliminates the need for a ribbon. High quality printing retains patient details for up to one week. Resistant to harsh hospital environments. Gentle on skin for patient comfort. Tamper proof adhesive closure. Patient data remains safe. Band remains secure on patients wrist at all times.



TT wristbands. Ideal for patients with sensitive skin. Soft and durable for ultimate patient comfort. Patient data remains clear through duration of stay. This is thanks to thermal printing technology. Ideal for infants and elderly due to its gentle nature. Security ribbon conceals patient ID for added peace of mind. Non-cytotoxic and non-irritant properties are sensitive to patient’s skin. The wristbands are ideal for the harsh hospital environment. Being resistant to moisture, alcohol, detergent and hand sanitisers. Ensuring the preservation of patient and barcode data. Patient data remains secure.



How can I purchase these products?


We stock a range of wristbands through the ASL Labels site. Or do you require more information? Contact us today to find out more.