Safer temporary identification criteria for unknown or unidentified patients

A resource Patient Safety Alert has been issued to help organisations ensure a safer system for the temporary identification of unidentified or unknown patients.

Patient Safety Alerts are shared rapidly with healthcare providers via the Central Alerting System (CAS).

About this alert

Emergency departments often care for patients unable or unwilling to give their identity including people who are unconscious or who have a critical illness, people with a mental health condition or delirium, and people affected by drink or drugs. Several unidentified patients may arrive together after an accident, or in mass casualty situations.

To help ensure a safer system for the temporary identification of unidentified or unknown patients, this alert highlights the best possible options for providers to be compliant with existing available guidance, and signposts to a set of resources.

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