Patient Safety — Our Top Priority
Patients and their families have a vital role in making their care safe. This is a guide for you and your family to help us ensure a safer healthcare experience for you. We have available a Speak UP handout which provides tips for you and your family to review, encouraging active participation and involvement in your care and treatment.
Be involved in your healthcare.
The single most important way you can help to prevent errors is to be an active member of the healthcare team.
Taking an active role in your healthcare is a three-step process.
- Take part in decisions about your treatment.
- Follow your treatment plan.
- Watch for problems and be involved in solving them.
Speak up if you have any questions or concerns.
- You have a right to question anyone who is involved with your care.
- You may want to write down questions to ask for the next time the doctor visits.
- If you observe a sudden change in your loved one’s condition, please report the condition change to the staff immediately. If you have tried but feel you need more help, contact the Acute Change Team at extension 2110. (The Acute Change Team at Joint Township Hospital is designed to evaluate patients who have a sudden change in their condition. The team includes a specially trained nurse and a breathing expert. With supervisory support, the team will respond quickly to assist in the patient’s care).
Ask what doctor is in charge of your care while you are in the hospital.
- You may have several doctors handling different aspects of your care but one should be coordinating or in charge of your care.
- You will see many different people. You should identify yourself and why you are there.
- Wear your name band at all times.
- Know what procedures you are to have and make sure healthcare workers tell you what they plan to do before consenting to a procedure.
Consider asking all healthcare workers who have direct contact with you if they washed their hands.
- Hand washing is an important way to prevent the spread of infection in hospitals.
Describe your symptoms and/or pain clearly.
When you are admitted to the hospital, bring all the medications you are taking in their original containers.
- Ask a family member to bring in medications if you left them at home.
- NOTE : Include all over-the-counter medications, home remedies, herbal medications including tea, vitamins and weight gain or loss products such as shakes, pills or bars. Sometimes they can be dangerous when you take them with other medications.
- Let the doctor and nurse know of any allergies and type of reaction or side effects you have.
Understand your medication.
- Your medication may be different than what you take at home.
- Know what medications you are taking, why you are taking them, what they look like, what time you take them, and potential side effects.
- If they look different, ask why!
- Make sure your armband is checked before any medication is given.
Help prevent falls.
- Call for help to get out of the bed or chair, especially if you feel dizzy or unsteady on
your feet, and wait for help to arrive.
- Wear non-skid slippers, slipper socks or your own shoes.
When you are discharged home, ask your doctor to explain your plan of
care for you to follow at home. Ask questions if you do not understand.
- Make sure you understand your medications and what activity and eating plan you are to follow.
Share any special needs.
- If you need assistance arranging special care or equipment, let your doctor, nurse or social worker know.
Getting involved pays off!
- Taking an active role in your care has many advantages.
- Rest assured that our primary goal and commitment is to provide a high level of quality care to help you achieve your best possible health.
- Your doctor, nurse and other healthcare providers welcome your involvement.