Why, Why, WHY Do Healthcare Professionals Ask My Name SO Many Times?!


Why, Why, WHY Do Healthcare Professionals Ask My Name SO Many Times?!


Do you ever get annoyed when someone asks you the same question over and over again? You may have found yourself thinking, “I already answered that question 10 times…This person clearly is not listening!” Answering redundant questions can often feel like a big waste of time…however, when it comes to healthcare, sometimes redundancy can be the best medicine – there is an important question that you will be asked over and over again, which is…wait for it…”What’s your name?” Also, you may then be asked to spell your name or to recite your date of birth.

For example, if you’ve ever been admitted into the hospital, you may have noticed that, whenever one of the employees enters your room, he or she will ALWAYS ask you to confirm your name. Don’t worry, it’s nothing personal – and it’s not that we didn’t listen to you the first time or that we are trying to annoy you – it’s just standard protocol for ensuring patient safety and supporting the best outcomes.

Confirming your name serves as a preventative measure against human error and unforeseen circumstances, and ensures the best and safest care for patients. It provides additional reassurance that medications, procedures, tests, etc. are administered to the right patients. So you can sit back, relax, and heal without having to worry about being caught in the middle of an identity related mix-up.

When it comes to asking you to confirm your identity in a healthcare setting, there are no exceptions to this rule – even if an employee believes they are 110% certain of what your name is, he or she is still required to ask, just to be safe. It’s such a simple question, yet it leads to the best patient outcomes and enhances patient safety. We’d say that’s one question that’s worth repeating!