The Dangers of Patient Misidentification | Patient Errors in Hospitals

patient identification error
Date: June 6, 2024

When visiting a doctor, we expect our care providers to know our medical records and history. Patient identification is the process of correctly identifying a patient and matching them with their health records.

Have you ever been in a medical setting where a nurse or doctor asked you to confirm incorrect information? How about if a care provider called you by a different name, provided a wrong date of birth, or inquired about medical information that was completely wrong? This is where patient identification suffers, and its consequences can be life-threatening.

Patient identification significantly improves patient health and safety. Properly identifying patients can avoid mix-ups, boost infection control efforts, reduce medical record errors, and ensure patient data integrity and positive patient outcomes.

Patient mix-ups can be hazardous for many reasons. Not only can private information be mixed up, but incorrect patient information can lead to wrongful surgeries or treatment that was intended for someone else. It may seem like a fundamental mistake, but it is expected. This event has happened numerous times, especially in the instance where the wrong patient received kidney transplant surgery.

Often, misidentifications occur when patients have similar names or characteristics on their medical charts. These similarities can easily result in patient mix-ups, especially in fast-paced, high-pressure environments.

Contact Your Pennsylvania Medical Malpractice Lawyers for a Free Consultation

Patient safety is paramount in healthcare. It is crucial in preventing harm and ensuring proper outcomes. If you or someone you know has experienced patient misidentification that has resulted in damage, wrongful treatment, or other negative consequences, contact Dougherty Leventhal and Price today! Remember… Injury? Call DLP. (570) C-A-L-L-D-L-P.


Gibson, Matt. “Medical Record Mix-Ups Archives.” RightPatient, Matt Gibson, 14 Feb. 2022,,patient%20received%20kidney%20transplant%20surgery.

Julia Kourpas