AHA Quality Advisory on Implementing Standardized Colors for Patient Alert Wristbands

America's hospitals are committed to delivering safe care. To alert caregivers to certain patient risks, many facilities use color-coded patient wristbands. However, if hospitals use different colors for these alerts, caregivers working in more than one facility may have difficulty always responding in the appropriate manner.

Standardizing the colors of the wristbands used in hospitals is the sensible approach to improving patient safety, and many state hospital associations have already engaged their hospitals in this effort. As the national advocate for America's hospitals, the AHA is asking all hospitals to consider using three standardized colors for alert wristbands. The colors, which have been adopted as a consensus in numerous states, are: red for patient allergies; yellow for a fall risk; and purple for do-not-resuscitate patient preferences.

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