Proper Patient Identification
In order to prevent errors that affect specimen quality, the phlebotomist must pay close attention to detail during the entire venipuncture process. All steps of the phlebotomy procedure must be included for every venipuncture. This will help to maintain specimen integrity during the collection, transport, and handling of blood specimens
Properly identify the patient every time
The phlebotomist is responsible for correctly identifying the patient using two unique patient identifiers that include the patient's complete first and last name, medical record or hospital number, and/or date of birth. The patient location or room number, bed tag and chart are not reliable forms of identification and should not be used for patient identification.
Every patient must verbalize his/her name to the phlebotomist, if able to do so. It is unacceptable for the phlebotomist to ask the patient to confirm his/her name that was verbalized by the phlebotomist. For example, the phlebotomist should say, "Would you please tell me (or spell) your name and birthdate. " The phlebotomist should NOT say, "Are you Sally Brown, and is your birthdate June 1, 1925?"
If this is a hospital inpatient, check the information on the patient's wristband and confirm that the name and hospital number or medical record number matches the patient information on the test order. Never rely on identification attached to a bed, chart or door. NEVER draw a patient whose identity is not established or is in conflict. If there is a discrepancy, the phlebotomist must STOP and seek assistance to have the discrepancy resolved before proceeding with the venipuncture.
If this is an outpatient that does not have a wristband, ask the patient (or guardian/caregiver) to state the patient's date of birth. A picture ID, such as a driver's license, can also be used for positive patient identification.