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Letter From Chief of Staff: Patient Identification

Patient safety touches everything we do each day. At Cedars-Sinai, proper patient identification remains a top priority, as well as a National Patient Safety Goal designated by the Joint Commission.

I am writing to remind you that when communicating with your colleagues, never use a room number as a form of patient identification. That's because patients are quickly, and constantly, moving between rooms and departments to triage their care quickly and efficiently.

When communicating with your colleagues–including ordering consults or tests, performing procedures and requesting imaging and other tests or procedures between departments–ensure patient identification is verified using the following:  

  • For inpatients: Use a Medical Record Number (MRN) and full name.
  • For ambulatory care: Use a patient's full name and date of birth.

Again, a room number or patient location can never be used as a patient identifier.

Please also be aware that through the use of on campus digital monitors, patients and their visitors will be encouraged to ask their healthcare providers to verify their identity if not initially asked.

It's our duty to ensure patient safety using two patient identifiers. Thank you for doing your part in this critical process.

Clement C. Yang, MD
Chief of Staff