Joint Commission Mandates Armband to Identify Patients With Too Many Armbands.

Oakbrook Terrace, IL --  Hospitals are up in arms again after The Joint Commission (TJC) on Monday started requiring all patients with too many armbands  to be flagged with an armband for having too many armbands. Mark Chassin, President and Chief Executive Officer of TJC, applauded his organization for taking  action against his organization's failed policies.

"I'm proud The Joint Commission is finally  taking a stand against The Joint Commission for continuing to ignore all the unintended consequences of their regulations," said Dr. Chassin.

Doctors and nurses have been telling authorities for years that too many patient armbands are a safety hazard, but those complaints had fallen on deaf ears until last week when 87 year old ICU patient Pat Swanson of Denver, Colorado  underwent emergent bilateral upper extremity amputations at Great Scotts Medical Center shortly after 52 armbands cut off circulation during an anasarca storm.

"After a root cause analysis, we  determined the PROBABLY A PALLIATIVE CARE CANDIDATE  armband placed an hour before the event finally took her arms over the edge," said Dr. Steven Johnson, the Hospitalist on duty when this tragic but totally foreseeable event occurred.

"When she was admitted 24 days ago, she only had three arm bands, but if you do the math, she gained just over 2 armbands per day in the ICU that nobody noticed. In retrospect, the patient telling us 'My arms are too heavy with armbands to lift a spoon and eat' should have clued us into an emerging problem, but we were too busy filling out FMLA papers for multiple family members everyday to head her cry for help," said Dr. Johnson.

In the last four years, The Joint Commission says the average number of patient armbands has skyrocketed from 3 to over 17, as more and more patient characteristics demand armband worthy status, adversely affecting everyone in the hospital.  Nursing students are constantly pulling the code blue cord in an abundance of caution after being unable to palpate a radial pulse.  Medical students have no idea what  pronator drift is anymore.  Phlebotomists are being  retrained to perform bedside  carotid cut-downs for routine blood draws.  Even administrators are overwhelmed with committees trying to solve the excessive armband problem.
Too many armbands?  There's an armband for that!

"At one point we had 17 committees - all working independently and without communication - each trying to come up with a solution that nobody else liked, resulting in 17 other committees to sort it all out," said Dr Johnson.

What came out of these painful meetings was nothing short of genius at Great Scotts Medical Center. "We hired a hospital seamstress to convert  all those armbands into one giant sash for the women and a handsome fashion belt for the men.  Patients love it and it's a great conversation piece for family.  Plus, as an added bonus, we have the highest satisfaction scores in the universe! Thank you Joint Commission for being so helpful," said Dr Johnson.

Complete list of 52 armbands removed from Pat Swanson.

  1. Swanson With an O
  2. Already Outlived Life Expectancy
  3. Don't Code Her, She Won't Know The Difference
  4. Allow Natural Life Support
  5. Risk of Talking Alot
  6. Risk of Family Filling Out Poor Patient Satisfaction Survey
  7. Looks Older Than Her Stated Age
  8. Ambiguous Name Alert
  9. Suspected  Female
  10. Hard of Understanding
  11. Hits On Young Male Doctors
  12. Likes To Talks About Her Bowels
  13. POA Is A Physician
  14. Doesn't Believe In Flu Shots
  15. Family Googles Everything
  16. Thinks Most Doctors and Nurses Are Too Young
  17. Risk of Asking Lots of Questions
  18. Reads Every Consent Word-For-Word
  19. Family Wants Lawyer To Review All Documents
  20. Wants a Comfortable Death With Everything Done
  21. No Known Drug Allergies
  22. Allergic to All Antibiotics - Anaphylaxis
  23. Allergic To  Wasps, But Not Bumble Bees
  24. Has Two Daughters Who Never Leave The Room
  25. Thinks She's The Only Patient In the Hospital
  26. OK To Go Outside and Smoke
  27. Has Lots of Great Stories If You Have a Free Moment
  28. Wants Everything Taken Care Of While She's Here
  29. Found Cheating at Crossword Puzzles
  30. Should Be In a Nursing Home
  31. Can't Remember If She Has Dementia Or Not
  32. When She Yells 'Bill', Just Say 'Yes,'
  33. Doesn't Like To Be Called Honey
  34. It's Fakeasia, Not a Stroke
  35. Frail like a Babby Bunny
  36. That's Not a Wig You See
  37. Was Perfectly Healthy Until A Week Before Getting Sick
  38. Has Appointment at Mayo Clinic After Discharge To Figure This Out
  39. Disappoints Easily
  40. Not Really a Fighter
  41. Loves a Good Foley
  42. QHS = 4 PM
  43. Rides Call Light Like a Rodeo Champ
  44. 12/10 On The Pain In My Ass Scale
  45. Direct Eye Contact Should Be Avoided
  46. OK To Incubate 
  47. Gown and Glove Encouraged
  48. On Family Meal Plan
  49. Dilaudid 2 MG IV Push Preferred
  50. Dysphagia 7 Diet
  51. Probably a Palliative Care Candidate
  52. Too Many Armbands

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