Patient identification policy

Accurate identification of patients, resulting in the administration of intended clinical interventions, is one of the most fundamental components of the provision of good health care.

The current WA policy is the most recent OD 0486/14 WA Health Patient Identification Policy 2014 (external site).

In 2008, the Australian Health Ministers endorsed the Australian Commission on Safety and Quality in Health Care (external site) specifications for a standard patient identification band.

Patient identification and procedure matching is also one of the ten National Safety and Quality Health Service Standards (external site)

Patient identification principles

  • All patients must be correctly identified at the time of registration and admission (general or emergency department) and at all times throughout throughout their hospital stay.
  • Inpatients should wear a form of identification, and health care providers should have guidelines in place that informs this identification process.
  • The primary purpose of an identification band or other identification mechanism is to identify the patient in the clinical setting. The use of identification bands to signify clinical alerts is secondary.
  • Hospitals/health services will need to determine how they meet the specifications for identification bands at a local level.
  • Hospitals/health services will need to justify exceptions to the national specifications.

More information

Quality Improvement and Change Management Unit
Address: 189 Royal Street, East Perth
Phone: 9222 4080
Email: qicm@health.wa.gov.au


Produced by

Quality Improvement and Change Management Unit