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 healthcare is by being an active member of your healthcare team. That means taking part in every decision about your healthcare. The following tips tell what you can do to get safer care:
- Speak up if you have questions or concerns. You have a right to question any one who is involved with your care.
- Make sure that all your doctors have your important health information. Do not assume that everyone has all the information they need.
- Ensure health care providers check your identification (name and date of birth) before any medication, treatment, or procedure.
- Check the information on your ID bracelet for accuracy.
- 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.
- 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.
- If you have a test, do not assume that no news is good news. Ask how and when you will get the results.
- 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.
- 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. But even once is too often. 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.
- 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.
- 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.
- Make sure your doctor knows about any allergies and adverse reactions you have had to medicines. This can help avoid getting a medicine that could harm you.
- Ask for information about your medicines in terms you can understand-both when your medicines are prescribed and when you get them:
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.
- 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?
Prevention of Infection, Being A Part of Your Health Care Team
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. 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.
Vistors and Companions
If your visitors or companions are sick you should ask them to stay home.
Additional Preventative Measures
There are some bacteria that require special measures to prevent the spread of infections - like Methicillan Resistant Staphylococcus Aureus (MRSA), Vancomycin Resistant Enterococci (VRE) or Clostridium difficile (C-diff). These infections can be spread by contact with clothing, hands, personal items, or health care equipment. If you have one of these conditions you will be placed in "isolation" to prevent the spread of infections to others. A sign will be posted on the room door and both staff and visitors will be required to wear protective gowns and gloves, and in some cases a mask. Hand hygiene is very important in preventing the spread of these conditions. If you are in isolation speak to your care provider before leaving your room.
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. We are committed to keeping you safe from injury during your stay.
During your stay we will:
- Assess you for your risk of falling upon admission and as your condition changes.
- Determine what preventive measures should be taken to try to prevent 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 light and remind you when to call for help. Remember "Call, Don't Fall!"
- 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 light and other needed items are within reach before health care providers leave you alone.
Condition H (HELP), A Patient Safety Initiative
At Torrance Memorial, we are committed to providing compassionate, safe care to our patients and their families. If you feel as if your loved one needs help and you are not getting the attention of the health care team, please access Condition H, a call for help.
- There is an emergency and you cannot get the attention of hospital staff.
- You see a change in the patient's condition and the health care team is not recognizing the concern.
- You have spoken to the hospital staff and you continue to have serious concerns about the patient's care.
- There is a breakdown in how care is given, or uncertainty over what needs to be done.
How to Call For Help
Dial "0" from any hospital phone and tell the operator "I have a Condition H." Please provide patient's name, room number and the nature of your concern. The Condition H team will arrive to the room and assess the situation.