Standardization Projects

Promoting Consistency

Washington hospitals have come together to create standardized practices which will reduce harm, make providing safe care easier for physicians and staff, and simplify training. With a mobile staff and patient population, this effort is designed to reduce confusion and avoid potential harm to patients.
Below are resources for implementing emergency code calls, isolation precautions signage, wristbands, and surgical checklist.

Standardized Emergency Code Calls

The purpose of emergency code calls is to quickly communicate an emergency and to mobilize expert assistance i.e. code red for fire.

For a copy of the "In Design" files of the Emergency Codes Badge, Stickers, and Poster, email

Best Practices from Washington Hospitals

Franciscan Health System Poster

Isolation Precautions Signage

The standardized isolation precautions signage is used to eliminate transmission of infections between patients, such as MRSA. The signs have been shared with patients and hospital staf and commended by the Association for Professionals in Infection Control and Epidemiology (APIC), Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), and The Joint Commission. 


Signs (Precautions on front, Staff information on back)

Laminated and un-laminated copies are also available for purchase through the WSHA bookstore.

Patient & Family Education Sheets

Available in English, Spanish, Russian, Cambodian, Vietnamese, Korean in MS Word format below:

Log of Changes - The documents the changes made to the isolation signage based on hospital feedback

Precaution Symbols - This document includes links to isolation precaution symbols available for download.

Type and Duration of Isolation Precautions - CDC
The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention Guideline for Isolation Precautions: Preventing Transmission of Infectious Agents in Healthcare Settings 2007  lists the type and duration of precautions for selected infections and conditions.             

Wristbands (if using)

Color-coded wristbands are used in some hospitals to alert staff to important information about a patient. If a hospital uses wristbands, it is recommended that the national standard colors be used. (e.g., allergy). 

Best Practices from Washington Hospital:  Virginia Mason Medical Center

Surgical Safety Checklist

Hospitals world wide are encouraged to adopt a surgical safety checklist initiated by the World Health Organization and endorsed by the Institute for Healthcare Improvement (IHI).

For additional information on the Surgical Safety Checklist, click here.

The Washington State Hospital Association is supporting this effort at the request of members who are looking for ways to reduce harm to patients. They believe this process is important because many of our staff and physicians work in multiple hospitals. For questions or feedback, please email or call (206) 577-1831.


In the News

Efforts to standardize for patient safety are garnering positive press. To read the stories, visit the link below. Standardization in the News