A hand with five Patient Wristbands
Standardizing Patient Wristband Colors
​About a decade ago, a patient almost died when a traveling nurse mistakenly gave him a wristband indicating “do not resuscitate,” thinking it meant something else. A Patient Safety Authority analyst who read that event report discovered a lack of uniformity in patient wristband colors across Pennsylvania—and, subsequently, the United States—and recognized that a similar event was likely to recur.

The PSA led a movement to establish a standard for this ubiquitous part of patient care that has since been adopted by nearly every state and the U.S. military.​