Receiving good patient care
Jo Gott is director of patient safety at Banner Desert Medical Center in Mesa.
Question: How can I make sure I or my loved ones are safe during a hospitalization?
Answer: All patients should know that they have an important role and responsibility for ensuring their own safe care during a hospitalization. First and foremost, if at any time something doesn’t feel right, or if you’re unsure about something, SPEAK UP! You have the right to question anything. Also, proper hand hygiene is critical. Make sure all caregivers and visitors, including your own family and friends, who come into your room, wash their hands with soap and water or use antibacterial gel. Here are some other tips for ensuring your safe care:
- Provide complete and accurate health history information at the time of admission
- Know your medications and tell the hospital how they affect you
- Be sure to include any herbal medications or over the counter drugs, as well as prescription medications
- If you are given a medication in the hospital, make sure you know what it is and why you need it
- If you feel any medication is making you sick, causing you pain or other side effect, report it immediately
- An easy way to carry your medication list with you is to use The Med Form. It’s available at themedform.com or from the hospital
- Always confirm your identity – all hospital staff should check your wrist band and ask your name before they draw blood, administer tests, give medicine or any treatments
- Follow your health care instructions – never tamper with your IV pump, monitors or other devices. When you go home, get your health care instructions in writing and make sure you understand how to follow them.
Remember, hospitalization is a partnership between you and your health care providers. When you take an active role, your outcomes are likely to be better.