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Sometimes it’s safer not to show a patient name
Whatever your patient demographics, there are times when it’s in the interest of patient and staff safety to hide or obscure a patient name. In some cases, it may be important that the name doesn’t appear on publicly viewable devices. HCI offers Hidden Patient, an app that allows you to obscure an individual’s name on digital devices outside the patient room, inside the room, and at the Nurses’ Station.
Depending upon how the facility is organized, a patient’s HIPAA compliant name appears with the room number or bed number. On HCI digital Whiteboards and Tablets, the room and bed number shows at the top of the device screen, with the abbreviated version of a patient name. This information appears with select data from the patient’s electronic health record.
If a patient is considered to be “at-risk”, you can hide the name through the protected Administrative menu. It’s a simple process to update the name at Admittance, or at any time during the patient’s stay. And the same process works if a high-profile patient has been admitted.
One one step, the authorized staff member selects the HCI devices that should not display the individual’s name. The Administrator making the edit simply chooses which devices should display or not display the patient’s name. As a result of the choices, patient names can be hidden on one or many devices.
Once the selected devices are saved, the name is hidden on those devices and obscuring the name. However, caregivers still have the patient identification and information they need from the EHR.
Unit Whiteboard showing the hidden name feature.
Preferred patient name
In conjunction with Hidden Name, “Preferred Name” is a simple editing feature of all HCI devices running MediaCare. MediaCare allows providers to edit the displayed name on our interactive devices using the on-screen keyboard. Importantly, the patient identification information stored in the EHR is still present and active. Only the name displayed on the Digital Hall Whiteboard, in-room Patient Whiteboard or Unit Whiteboard changes.
That’s helpful in instances where a high-profile patient may need a pseudonym to protect their privacy. Moreover, if a patient is unidentified, uncommunicative or unresponsive, a pseudonym can be entered until more is known about them. And, for other patients, being called by a preferred name helps them feel more at ease and comfortable during their hospitalization.
In all cases, when editing or hiding a patient name, the Joint Commission recommends that organizations should always continue to use two forms of patient identification for all treatments, testing, specimens, medication orders, etc. to prevent errors.
Learn how you can put patient safety first.
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