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Patient identification


All patients are positively identified with two patient identifiers prior to initiating a medical imaging or therapeutic procedure


+ Importance of patient identification

  • Verify patient identifiers against all requests to ensure the procedures/treatments are provided to the correct patients.1
  • Accreditation Canada cites client verification with two patient identifiers as a required organizational practice (ROP).2
  • The World Health Organization Collaborating Centre for Patient Safety Solutions encourages the use of at least two identifiers to verify a patient's identity upon admission or transfer.1

+ Patient identification in practice

  • The identifiers obtained need to be specific to the patient:
    • Patient name and date of birth constitute two valid identifiers1,2
    • Medical record number, accurate patient photograph, home address (confirmed by patient or family), provincial health card number, client barcode and patient wristband are also valid identifiers2
    • Patient room number is NOT a valid identifier2

  • Obtain information using open questions and have the patient positively state the information, rather than asking for confirmation of information provided.
    • For example: “What is your date of birth?” as opposed to “Is your date of birth January 1, 1950?"

+ References

  1. The Joint Commission. Patient Identification. Patient Safety Solutions 2007;1(2):1-4. Available at: Accessed November 13, 2015.
  2. Accreditation Canada. Required Organizational Practices 2016. 2. Accreditation Canada. Required Organizational Practices 2016 Available at: Accessed November 13, 2015.




November, 2015


Canadian Association of Medical Radiation Technologists
85 Albert St, Suite 1000, Ottawa, ON, K1P 6A4
phone: 613 234-0012 / 800 463-9729
fax: 613 234-1097