Identity and safety
Identity of patients and embryos is a critical matter in a reproductive clinic. We take this responsibility very seriously. There are multiple layers of cross checking to avoid mistakes when dealing with gametes and embryos. The first step in this process is the use of photo identification. Using photo identification helps us verify your name and date of birth. This information is compared to the request forms that are used to direct the lab on the procedures that are to be performed. All materials which come in contact with gametes or embryos will be labeled with patient names as well as a color coding system which assigns unique codes to each patient. Working with only one persons gametes or embryos at one time is another safety measure. A witness process complements the identity verification. The final verification process involves confirmation of identity with patients just prior to the transfer of embryos or gametes. Patients are involved in the initial and final stages of the verification process. While this multi-step process is complex and redundant, we view it as absolute essential.
Patient records are marked with 3 unique identifiers. These include name, date of birth, and a unique medical record number. Photocopies of picture ID cards are usually included in the chart as another layer of identity verification. Our clinic is implementing many electronic security measures such as digital photos, secure messaging, and patient specific log in procedures.
During any procedure involving gametes or embryos there are written identifiers as well as a witnessing process. Examples of procedures that involve witnesses would include inseminations, donor inseminations, egg manipulation, ICSI, and embryo transfers. Procedure request forms, patient identifiers, and isolation of materials are examples of the things the witness is responsible for watching. The witness then signs the verification forms confirming no mistakes have been made.
Each patient is given a unique color code which is included along with the patient name on everything that comes into contact with the gametes or embryos. All material is maintained in containment trays that are unique to each patient. Embryos are housed in incubators that have chambers that can be dedicated to each patient. During embryo transfers, one of the staff visually and physically ensures the path is clear for the person transporting embryos. Access to the lab is strictly limited.
The clinic was built with a telephone monitoring system that measures temperatures, gas mixtures, and function of laboratory equipment. Additional laboratory monitoring services include equipment monitoring and video surveillance of the lab are utilized to provide additional levels of security and are capable of electronically notifying staff. Alarm systems will call the clinic and lab personnel in the event of any abnormality. The building is also equipped with a monitored security and fire alarm system. Locked doors on the embryology laboratory further limit access to the lab. In the event of a power failure we have a sophisticated battery backup system and diesel generator on an automatic transfer switch. Both systems provide redundant power supplies and are capable of maintaining the lab for an extended period of time without intervention. The generator can be refueled during operation which means uninterrupted power can be supplied until the regular electrical service can be restored.
If you have any questions about our safety procedures or equipment please do not hesitate to ask.