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Adopting The Colors of Safety: Enhancing Patient Alerts

What are we looking to improve?
Patient alerts are vital to ensuring patient safety; some can even be lifesaving. Alerts include allergic reactions, risk for falling, and do-not-resuscitate (DNR) requests. Through our initiative, we look to heighten awareness about these alerts among both patients and staff.

What strategies/measures have we implemented for improvement?
Mount Sinai Health System was among the first in New York City to implement the national Colors of Safety program, a standardized color-coded alert system that makes use of different colored armbands which correlate with specific alerts. In addition to the program’s “red for allergies,” “yellow for fall risk” and “purple for DNR,” Mount Sinai Health System uses “pink for limbs” (those limbs that should not be used for drawing blood and/or inserting IVs) and “green for no blood transfusion.” The armbands are labeled for people who are color-blind.

What have we accomplished to date?
Mount Sinai Health System successfully implemented and is still using the program, which has been well accepted by patients.

What are our future plans?
We look to maintain the program.

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