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Joint Commission Issues Newborn Identification Requirement to Avoid Medical Errors

Modern Healthcare writes: The Joint Commission starting next year will cite hospitals if they fail to use specific naming conventions to identify newborns.  The new requirement, which will begin Jan. 1, is intended to mitigate the possibility of misidentifying newborns, which can lead to serious medical errors. Misidentification of newborns can result in babies getting the wrong breast milk or blood. Lab readings for the wrong patient and even surgery performed on the wrong infant can occur as well.  Data available on the nationwide incidence of newborn misidentification in hospitals is sparse but a 2016 study from the Pennsylvania Patient Safety Authority found nearly two newborn misidentification events occur every day in the state.  Research shows that one way hospitals can reduce newborn misidentification is to give babies more distinct naming conventions upon birth.

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