Patient Safety Tips

Help Prevent Errors in Your Care

  • Wear your identification bracelet at all times. Make 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.
  • Make sure your caregivers wash their hands or wea before treating you.
  • 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 form.
  • 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.
  • Make sure you receive a list of medications you are to take at home. Keep the list current and share with all of your doctors and healthcare workers.

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 does not look 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. You also pay for it twice – once for your prescription and a second time for your insurance premium which covers inpatient medications.

Fall Prevention

  • Make sure you can reach your call light, your phone and other personal items before the staff leaves your room.
  • Make sure you can reach your bedpan or urinal before the staff leaves your room.
  • Use your call light when you need help.
  • 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.
  • When getting out of bed, sit on the side of the bed for at least one full minute before standing.
  • 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.