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Ideas That Work: Color-Code to End Confusion
Practical pearls from your colleagues
Publish Date: September 19, 2022   |  Tags:   Ideas That Work Patient Safety
COOL GUIDE A color-coded grid on the outside of the freezer door corresponds with the location of tissues inside the freezer.

Cynthia Hawks, BSN, RN, CNOR, CSSM, surgical clinical coordinator for neurology and ENT at Memorial Hermann The Woodlands Medical Center in Shenandoah, Texas, has had a copy of the April 2020 issue of Outpatient Surgery Magazine on her desk for months. She had it opened to the Ideas That Work section because she loved the tip about organizing the inventory of frozen tissue grafts using color-coded, zippered mesh bags. “I had seen that article and thought it would be a great idea for our organization,” she recalls. Ms. Hawks worked with another clinical coordinator to not only color-code the inside of the freezer that houses autologous tissue and allograft tissue, but to map the colors on the outside of the freezer door to increase efficiency. “We also put our bone flaps in the freezer and categorized them by month,” says Ms. Hawks. “It’s been a game-changer for us. Because of the color-coding, we immediately know where specimens should be stored.” OSM