Patient safety when performing a capillary blood collection includes positive patient identification prior to performing the procedure. The accepted policy in most health care facilities is to use two forms of identification, including a unique number if possible, such as a hospital number or medical record number.
Ideally, the patient (or the parent/guardian if the patient is a small child) should be asked to spell his/her name and state his/her date of birth. This may not always be possible, but it will aid in positive patient identification whenever it can be done.
The phlebotomist should LOOK at the patient's paperwork while they LISTEN to the patient's response. For inpatients, the patient identification bracelet, which must be attached to the patient's wrist or ankle, should be used to verify patient identity. A hospital number recorded on the bracelet may be used as a second identifier in the case of an inpatient.
Paying close attention to these details and correcting any discrepancy discovered will greatly reduce the risk of misidentifying a patient.
Always follow the policy of your facility for identification and never shortcut the patient identification procedure.