Hospital color codes, bans violent patients

Hospitals already use color coding, ranging from disaster situations for high-acuity patients to everyday use for patients with food allergies. In the United Kingdom, however, one hospital is taking the color coding system to a new level by labeling drunk and violent patients, reports the Australian Associated Press.

As an alternative to having armed guards at the hospitals (despite protests from medical groups who argue that such a practice will incite disruptive patients), Luton and Dunstable Hospital in the U.K. uses a red and yellow card system in hopes of reducing hospital violence. For instance, if a patient becomes violent, he or she receives a red card, is escorted out of the hospital, and is banned from the hospital for six months unless faced with a life-threatening condition. The Alfred in Melbourne is considering a similar colored card system.

In the U.S., hospitals across the country are raising awareness about hospital violence, particularly in emergency rooms and at psychiatric facilities. Although the color coding system for unruly patients may be an alternative solution to armed security, the practice of banning patients from hospitals may not be as easily transferable across country lines.

For more:
- read the Australian Associated Press article

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