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Health and Patient Safety

As a well-informed patient, you can help us create a safer healthcare system.

For patient safety to be truly effective, we need you to be fully informed and be actively involved in all areas of your medical care.

What does your "involvement" in patient care and safety mean to you and your family?

  • It means we need you to provide as much information as you can about your health condition when asked.
  • It means that you should clearly understand your diagnosis and the treatment plan given to you by your provider and fully know what is to be expected.
  • It means keeping your provider, your pharmacist, and your family informed of any changes in your condition, good or bad, such as an allergic reaction to a drug.
  • It means we want you to speak up when you have a question about any aspect of your care.

We would like for you to become a partner in the development of a safe care plan. Your active involvement will help everyone always do the right thing at the right time for the right person. That right person is you.

Other Things to Consider:

Don't ever be afraid to ask questions if you have any doubts or concerns. Speak up! This will allow your healthcare providers an opportunity to better assist you. It's important for you to understand your treatment plan and why it was chosen for you.

Involve your loved ones. Keep your loved ones informed about your care plan. Better yet, ask a family member to assist you in understanding and carrying out your care plan in case you can't.

Understand and take part in your care. As a patient, you have rights. Learn about your rights and responsibilities as a patient to gain a better understanding about your decisions and rights in healthcare.

Know your Medications

Make sure you and your caregivers are clear about what medications you take:

  • Recognize your medications. If the medication you are given does not look familiar, speak up and alert your doctor, nurse, or pharmacist.
  • Be sure to tell your caregivers what medications you are taking, including non-prescription medications, vitamins, and herbal remedies.
  • When you receive a prescription, make sure it is the right medication and the right dose.
  • Be sure to keep your list up to date and in a visible location.

Infections - Don't pass it on! Did you know that each year, many lives and millions of dollars are lost due to the spread of infections in hospitals? Clean hands prevent the spread of infection and help save lives. Don't be afraid to remind friends, family, and healthcare providers to wash and sanitize their hands before coming into direct contact with you.

Ask for identification from medical staff you do not recognize: Make sure you know your caregiver's name. It's also very important that your caregiver confirms who you are. He or she should ask for your full name, and/or check your name band before he or she administers a medication or treatment.

Are you having surgery? Make sure you understand what will happen before your surgery is performed and how your doctors and nurses will take action to make sure that everything goes as planned after the surgery.

Know what to do after being discharged from your medical facility.

Make sure you and your caregivers are clear about what medications you take:

  • You can never ask too many questions. Make sure you understand what you need to do in order to keep your treatment care plan active.
  • Take time to speak to your caregivers about what medications you'll need and when you'll need to take them.
  • Make sure you have contact information for one or more of your caregivers in case you have further questions once you get home.
  • Make sure you call your doctor and make your follow-up appointment with the necessary doctors after discharge.

Final Thoughts

Remember when our parents used to tell us to "stop, look, and listen" before crossing the streets? Our parents' aim was to involve us in making correct, and safe decisions. They didn't want us to be harmed because we were caught off guard. We want to do the same for you by making you aware.

Patient safety can be that simple for you and your family if you:

  • Stop and learn the facts about your health condition and your medications.
  • Look carefully through your treatment care plan and follow instructions.
  • Listen closely to what you'll need to do in order to continue your treatment care plan at home or wherever you go.

Above all, be proactive! Let us know if you have any questions or recommendations about safety issues!