As a patient of McLaren Central Michigan, you and your safety are important to us. You can contribute to safe care by being active and informed. Ask your health care team if you don't understand something about your care plan. You have a right to question anyone who is involved with your care. Here are some educational tips and resources.
To prevent health care errors, patients are urged to... SPEAK UP!*
- Speak up if you have questions or concerns, and if you don't understand, ask again. It's your body and you have the right to know.
- Pay attention to the care you are receiving. Make sure you're getting the right treatments and medications by the right health care professionals. Don't assume anything
- Educate yourself about your diagnosis, the medical tests you are undergoing, and your treatment plan.
- Ask a trusted family member or friend to be your advocate.
- Know what medications you take and why you take them. Medication errors are the most common health care mistakes.
- Use a hospital, clinic, surgery center, or other type of health care organization that has undergone a rigorous on-site evaluation against established, state-of-the-art quality safety standards.
- Participate in all decisions about your treatment. You are the center of the health care team.
- Be sure to answer all questions about your health and history as truthfully and completely as possible.
- Let your provider know of any cultural or spiritual needs you may have.
- You and your provider should agree on all decisions about your care.
- Tell your provider if something doesn't feel right.
- Write down all of your questions. Don't be afraid or embarrassed to ask anything. It is your right to be informed.
- Don't assume that "No news is good news." If you take a test, ask your provider for the results.
- Ask questions about any and all aspects of your care that you may have, this will ensure you are making the most informed decision.
- Expect health care workers to introduce themselves when they enter your room and look for their identification badges.
- Notice whether your caregivers have washed or sanitized their hands. Hand washing is the most important way to prevent the spread of infections. Don't be afraid to gently remind a doctor or nurse to do this.
- Make sure your nurse or doctor confirms your identity, that is, checks your wristband or asks your name, before he or she administers any medication or treatment.
- Bring along your current medications or a list of them, including over-the-counter products, dietary and herbal supplements.
- Be sure to mention all allergies and sensitivities.
- Don't be afraid to question the medications you receive in the hospital. If you are unsure about a medication, bring it to your nurse's attention.
- When you are discharged, please be sure that you understand all of the instructions concerning all of your follow up care. Make sure you understand which medications you are taking and how to take them. Call your physician if you have any questions regarding discharge.
- Follow the treatment plan agreed upon by you and your provider.
- Ask questions about any instructions that are confusing or unclear.
Hand hygiene and fighting infections
The most important way to prevent infections is to practice good hand hygiene. Your caregivers should be washing or sanitizing their hands before and after touching you or surfaces or objects in your room. You, family members and visitors should wash your hands or use alcohol-based hand sanitizer before and after eating, after using the restroom and after touching surfaces or objects in your room. It is equally important to get into the habit of not touching your eyes, nose or mouth without first performing hand hygiene. These are good practices to follow after you leave the hospital.
Certain conditions make patients more likely to fall and to suffer other injuries while in the hospital. You can help prevent falls by:
- Asking for assistance from a member of your health care team before getting out of the bed or chair
- Always keeping the call button within reach
- Getting up slowly to prevent dizziness
- Walking closely to the wall and holding onto handrails when possible
During your hospital stay, if you have any concerns related to care, treatment and services, or patient safety issues that have not been resolved by the nurses caring for you there is a way to receive immediate attention. You can dial 3311 and say that you have a "Code Care in room____". You will be visited by a Patient Care Supervisor or the Nursing Director of the unit where your room is located. Providing a safe patient care environment is our main interest.
U.S. Department of Health & Human Services
Reducing Medical Mistakes
20 Tips to Help Prevent Medical Errors
*Speak Up information is furnished courtesy of The Joint Commission. For more detailed information on what patients and their care givers can do to ensure their rights, please visit The Joint Commission.