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Patients > Your Hospital Stay > Patient Safety
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Patient Safety

Your Health and Safety is Our Priority

We are committed to your safety and we would like to partner with you to ensure you receive safe health care. The best way to ensure you receive safe health care is by being an active member of your health care team. That means asking questions, seeking advice, taking part in every decision about your health care.

This could include:

  1. Speak up if you have questions or concerns. You have a right to question anyone who is involved with your care.
  2. Make sure that all doctors have your health information. Do not assume that everyone has all the information they need.
  3. Ensure health care providers check your identification (name and date of birth) before any medication, treatment, or procedure.
  4. Check the information on your ID bracelet for accuracy.
  5. Ask a family member or friend to be your advocate, advisor, or supporter. Even if you do not need help now, you might need it later.
  6. Know that “more” is not always better. It is a good idea to find out why a test or treatment is needed and how it can help you. You could be better off without it.
  7. If you have a test, do not assume that “no news is good news.” Ask how and when you will get the results.
  8. When you are being discharged from the hospital, ask your doctor to explain the treatment plan you will follow at home. This includes learning about your new medicines, making sure you know when to schedule follow-up appointments, and finding out when you can resume your regular activities. It is important to know whether or not you should keep taking the medicines you were taking before your hospital stay. Getting clear instructions may help prevent an unexpected return trip to the hospital.
  9. If you are having surgery, make sure that you, your doctor, and your surgeon all agree on exactly what will be done. Having surgery at the wrong site (for example, operating on the left knee instead of the right) is rare. The good news is that wrong-site surgery is 100 percent preventable. Surgeons are expected to sign their initials directly on the site to be operated on before the surgery.
  10. Learn about your condition and treatments by asking your doctor and nurse and by using other reliable sources. The term “doctor” is used here to refer to the person who helps you manage your health care.

Medication Safety

  1. Make sure all of your doctors know about every medicine you are taking. This includes prescription and over-the-counter medicines and dietary supplements, such as vitamins and herbs.
  2. Bring all of your medicines and supplements or a medication list. “Brown bagging” your medicines can help you and your doctors talk about them and find out if there are any problems. It can also help your doctor keep your records up to date and help you get better quality care.
  3. Make sure your doctor knows about any allergies or adverse reactions you have had to medicines. This can help avoid getting a medicine that could harm you.
  4. Ask for information about your medicines in terms you can understand—both when your medicines are prescribed and when you get them:
    • What is the medicine for?
    • How am I supposed to take it and for how long?
    • What side effects are likely? What do I do if they occur?
    • Is this medicine safe to take with other medicines or dietary supplements I am taking?
    • What food, drink, or activities should I avoid while taking this medicine?
  5. When your doctor writes a prescription for you, make sure you can read it. If you cannot read your doctor’s handwriting, your pharmacist might not be able to either.

Prevent Infection

Clean your hands and remind others to clean their hands. Use hand foam or wash your hands after using the bathroom, before eating, or after touching something that is soiled. If hands are obviously dirty, wash your hands well with soap and water for 15 seconds. Your visitors should wash or sanitize their hands as well.

Health care providers are required to wash or sanitize their hands before and after seeing a patient. Do not be afraid to remind your health care providers to wash or sanitize their hands if you feel they have not. Health care providers should wear gloves when they perform tasks such as drawing blood or touching wounds or body fluids. Staff will welcome your reminder to clean their hands or wear gloves.

Prevent Falls

In the hospital, people can be at a higher risk for falls. Illness, surgery and medicines can weaken or affect your balance and judgment. Also, medical equipment and the unfamiliar environment can make movement more difficult. Remember to ask for help. Call, Don't Fall!

During your stay we will:

  • Assess your risk of falling upon admission and as your condition changes.
  • Determine what preventive measures should be taken to avoid a fall while you are in the hospital, and share this information with other staff involved in your care.
  • Show you how to use your call button and remind you when to call for help.
  • Respond to your calls for assistance in a timely manner.
  • Assist you with getting in and out of bed and using the restroom as needed.
  • Provide you with safe footwear and any recommended equipment (walker or bedside commode) that will make it safer for you to move about.
  • Make sure the call button and other needed items are within reach before health care providers leave you alone.

Condition H

In the rare event that you do not feel heard by your health care team regarding a serious, life-threatening matter, please dial "0" from your room to report that you are having a "Condition H." A special team, separate from those caring for you or your loved one, will arrive in your room to assess the situation and intervene medically if necessary.