Patient Safety Awareness Week is an annual education and awareness campaign for health care safety led by the National Patient Safety Foundation.
Each year, health care organizations internationally take part in the event, creating awareness among hospital staff and patients. This year’s theme is “Navigate Your Health. Safely.”
North Mississippi Medical Center-Eupora wants to partner with patients and their families to ensure patient safety and eliminate medical errors. The single most important way patients can help to prevent errors is to be an active member of your health care team.
Here some important advice for patients and their families to follow:
- Get the results of any test or procedure. Don’t assume the results are fine if you do not get them when expected. Ask for your results and what the results mean for your care.
- Speak up! Always ask questions you may have regarding your care-questions and concerns are expected and you have the right to have them answered. Ask until you understand.
- Make sure the hospital staff checks your armband and identifies you correctly before giving you medication or any treatments. You may be asked for your name multiple times as a safety precaution.
- Make sure the staff and physicians wash or sanitize their hands before and after providing care to you. Remind them to do so by asking, “Did you remember to wash your hands?”
- Keep a list of your current medications (including non-prescription medications) with you at all times. Make sure you share the list with your healthcare provider and mention any allergies or adverse reactions you may have had to medications in the past.
- When you are discharged ask your health care team about your home care and be sure you understand how to care for yourself at home. Also, ask for a copy of all of your medications (old and new) and make sure you understand how to take them.