SAN FRANCISCO, CA – In a move lauded by environmental groups and advocates for patient safety, local health system St. Indignant’s rolled out a new pilot program tasked with studying the efficacy of tattooing patient identifiers on the wrists of some of their high-volume population.
Hospital CFO Glenn Gilded explains that the hospital has found large areas of waste during the registration process.
Gilded pointed to a patient that he states is well-known to the department. “Look at his wrist,” Gilded implored. “There’s what… One, two, three St. Indignant’s wristbands and at least three from the General Hospital on that guy’s wrist right there. He looks like he’s come from the world’s crappiest rave. That’s an area of waste that’s being passed on to the other customer… I uh mean, patients.”
“We know Mr. Wells,” Gilded puts forward. “He’s here nine or ten times a week. But, to X-ray his knee for the 37th time, we need an identifier. So an obvious area to save money would be his wristband! That’s nine or ten sticky bracelets a week.”
When pushed on the ethics of the initiative, Gilded points to the strictly voluntary nature of the program. “Listen, we’re not Nazis here. We’re not tattooing anyone who doesn’t want it. But we offer incentives. For example, if you agree to participate you get two wait list skip passes per quarter and with each dose of narcotic received you have a 5% chance of winning a 1.5X multiplier, meaning that you get one and a half times the dose!”
Local environmental groups are likewise pleased with the changes and state that they applaud all attempts to limit needless office and medical waste. Paid advocate Kimberly Greenoda says she would like to see the hospital reach much higher. “They tell me that IVs are good on the floor for three days. But so many of these ER patients come and go and get four or five IVs in 3 days time. Why not just leave them in? All that waste, the tape, the IV catheters, the Tegaderm? It’s shameful.”