A hospital must make patient safety and comfort their top priority. However, there are many instances where employee negligence can lead to patient safety risks. If you are ever hospitalized, know that there are many ways to improve your personal safety and reduce the risk of a medical error. The following are ten hospital safety tips to follow to help improve your safety and peace of mind.
Never be afraid to ask questions if you do not understand part of your care. Make sure you know why you are getting medications, why a doctor is performing a certain procedure, and what to expect during recovery. Being well informed about your care can help prevent errors and can help you feel more at ease with your treatment.
Speak Up if Something is Amiss
If your gut feeling is that something is wrong, speak up. If you are unsure if you are getting the right medication or proper procedure, ask the nurse or doctor to double check. It only takes a few moments to verify information that could prevent a serious mistake.
Confirm Your Identity
Even with routine medication doses, make sure the staff verifies you are the correct patient. Many hospital errors occur due to patient mix-ups, and staff should verify your identity before medical staff members take any action in regards to your care.
Keep Things Clean
Make sure that everyone who comes in contact with you, including visitors, washes her hands. Do not shy away from asking them to do so in front of you. Cleanliness is the first step in preventing hospital-acquired infections. Be careful to sanitize any objects your family brings you from home such as electronics or clothing, as these can also carry bacteria that could cause infections.
Bring a Friend or Family Member
Ask that a friend or family member be present at all times when making decisions on your medical care. They will help not only for emotional support, but also as a second set of eyes and ears to catch any errors in your care.
Use Your Call Bell
Every hospital bed has a method of calling the nurse’s station. Unless hospital staff have told you that you can to get up on your own to use the bathroom or get some exercise, it is best to call for a nurse to assist you in order to prevent falls or other injury.
Following the orders of your doctors and nurses is critical to your recovery. Do not get up without assistance if doctors told you to stay in bed, and do not touch any equipment unless a doctor or nurse has instructed you to do so.
Hiding the severity of your pain or any odd sensations after treatment or after taking a medication could be covering up a serious problem. When a doctor or nurse asks how you are feeling, be honest about your condition.
Take notes of your own care including when you receive medication and what kind/how much, who administers different parts of your treatment, and any changes in your condition. Know the names of everyone who assists you and what time(s) they were involved with your care.
Have Vital Information Handy
Keep a written information sheet nearby that includes vital information about your health and contacts. Write down the phone numbers to your medical contact and regular doctors. Mention allergies and other important information that would be pertinent if you were unresponsive.
If You Sustained Harm at a Hospital, We Can Help
The medical malpractice attorneys at Gallon, Takacs, Boissoneault & Schaffer Co., L.P.A. know how to identify medical errors and seek compensation for your damages. If you believe the harm you sustained was due to the negligence of hospital staff or procedures, contact our office today to set up a free consultation, or call us directly at 419-843-6663 to get started.