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Don’t Forget About Patient Safety!

Mar 27, 2018, 14:00 PM

At UnityPoint Health® – Grinnell Regional Medical Center, everyone is committed to patient safety. This focus on patient safety is how we protect patients from preventable errors, accidents, injuries and infections. Although GRMC has the majority of the responsibility in ensuring patient safety, there are a few ways you can work with our medical team to help to keep you safe.

Ask Questions
Ask your nurse, or your physician or other members of your medical team any questions you may have. If you do not understand the answer, ask again. You have a right to expect answers that you can understand. Always ask questions before agreeing to any medical tests, before taking new medications or before beginning any new treatments.

Know Your Medical Team
Healthcare professionals must wear identification badges. If someone who tries to care for you is not wearing an identification badge, ask for his or her name and notify a properly identified healthcare professional.

Wash Your Hands
Hand washing helps prevent the spread of germs. Infections that occur in the hospital are commonly spread by contact and may be prevented with hand washing. Wash your hands after you touch things in your room, move around your room or use the restroom. Touching your nose or mouth with unwashed hands spreads germs, which can cause disease or infection. Touching a wound with unwashed hands can also lead to an infection; it is OK to ask your medical team and visitors if they have washed their hands!

Share Important Health Information with Your Medical Team
You may be asked the same questions different times by several members of your medical team (e.g., Do you have any allergies? What medications are you taking?). This is all part of making sure that you get the safest care. Be sure to let your medical team know all of the medications that you are taking, including non-prescribed medicines.

Know Your Medications
If you do not understand why you are taking a medication, what it does, the possible side effects, the best time to take it or if there are certain foods you should avoid, ask. Make sure it is the medicine your provider ordered for you. If it looks like the wrong medicine, ask questions.

Don’t forget if you ever see something that looks unsafe or if you think safety can be improved, let someone on your medical team know; the staff at GRMC is always looking for new ways to improve!