Patient Safety Tips

Help Prevent Errors in Your Care

  • Wear your identification bracelet at all times. Make sure your name and birth date are correct. Also be sure your nurse or caregiver checks your identification before giving you any medicine or performing any tests or procedures.
  • Know your healthcare providers. All hospital staff wear a picture ID badge while on duty. If you’re not sure who someone is or what their role is please ask.
  • If you are having surgery or a procedure, make sure that you and your doctor agree about exactly what will be done before you sign a consent.
  • Most procedures require that the site of the procedure be marked. Please make sure that only the correct side and area where the procedure is to be performed is marked.
  • Ask questions if you have any concerns about your care.
  • When you are being discharged ask your doctor or nurse to explain the treatment plan for your care at home.

Rapid Response Team

During your stay, if you experience a change in medical condition that concerns you or your family, please notify your nurse immediately. If you’ve notified your nurse and you still feel that you need further assistance, you may call the Rapid Response Team. The Rapid Response Team is a team of Registered Nurses and Respiratory Therapists that respond quickly to your bedside to assess whether additional medical help is needed. Dial *8 to access the Rapid Response Team. State your room number and the age of the patient you are calling about. The Operator will activate the Rapid Response Team.

Infection Prevention While in the Hospital

Infections can occur after many types of procedures. There are several things YOU can do to help protect yourself.

  • Wash your hands often and well after using the bathroom, touching something that is soiled, assisting in any patient care activity, and before and after eating. Ask any visitors to do the same as they enter and leave your room.
  • Use the waterless hand sanitizer located on the wall in your room.
  • Wash with soap and water for at least 15 seconds (sing the Happy Birthday song). Please do not hesitate to remind doctors, nurses, and other staff to wash their hands or use the hand sanitizer.
  • If you have a dressing on a wound, tell your nurse if it is loose or wet.
  • If you have an IV (intravenous catheter) keep the dressing clean and dry. Do your best to keep the tubing from catching on the linens or furniture and tugging on your arm. Tell your nurse if the dressing is loose or wet, and if the site is red, or painful.
  • If you have a urinary catheter or drainage tube, tell your nurse if it is loose or comes out, keep it secured to your leg, do not rest the bag on the floor or carry it above the level of your waist.
  • To prevent pneumonia, carefully follow instructions about your breathing treatments, be as mobile as your condition or restriction allows.
  • This is a non-smoking hospital. Smoking can lead to infections. If you smoke and need help to stop, please let your nurse know and you will receive information on this subject.
  • If you have diabetes, be sure to ask your doctor about the best ways to control your blood sugar. High blood sugar can increase your risk of infection.

Following these instructions will help you recover and protect everyone:

ASK for help or advice if you have a concern.
TELL the nurse if you are in pain or see redness at any wound area.
ASK questions. You should understand your treatment plan and how you can help.
ASK your family and friends not to visit if they feel ill.
CONTINUE to follow good hand hygiene practices when you are at home.

Medication Safety

  • Tell your doctor or nurse all medicines you take at home (including prescriptions, over-the-counter items like aspirin, stool softeners, herbals, etc.). If you are not receiving a medication you normally take at home, tell the nurse or doctor so it can be ordered for you.
  • If a medication you are given is not familiar to you, alert your nurse and ask for information about it.
  • Make sure your doctor and nurse know about any medication or food allergies or reactions you have had.
  • Please do not take a medication that you or your family have brought from home. Medications from home will not be used in the hospital because the pharmacy cannot ensure safe administration of these medications.
  • Make sure you receive a list of medication you are to take at home. Keep the list current and share with all of your doctors and healthcare workers.

Fall Prevention

  • Make sure you can reach your call light, your phone and other personal items before the staff leaves your room.
  • If you are unable to get out of bed, make sure you can reach your bedpan or urinal before the staff leaves your room.
  • Use your call light when you need help. 30% of patients who fall “thought they could do it on their own.”
  • If you have been instructed to stay in bed, use your call light and don’t try to get up.
  • If you feel weak or dizzy, ask for help getting out of bed.
  • You may be given medication that you are not used to, call us before getting out of bed.
  • When side rails are up, don’t ever try to crawl over them. Call for assistance.
  • Wear non-skid slippers or socks when walking.
  • Notify nursing personnel if a spill occurs on the floor.
  • Ask for assistance to retrieve an item you dropped.