Patient Safety at OMH
Patient Identification — Who Are You?
Patient identification is important— it’s how we make sure that you get the correct medical care. At OMH, we review at least two of the following three patient identifiers and your identification arm band prior to any treatment, test, procedure, or medication administration.
- Your Name
- Your Date of Birth
- Your Medical Record Number
Be involved. While you are at OMH, show your arm band to your healthcare team prior to any treatment, test, procedure, or medication administration. If your identification is not verified before the procedure, request that staff perform an identification check. Keep your arm band on throughout your hospital stay. If it falls off, notify your nurse immediately. If you do not have an arm band, you may be asked for your name and date of birth. Be sure that the medical team knows who you are before taking any medications or undergoing any tests. For patients who are unable to speak, a family member or accompanying individual should participate in the initial identification process.
Medications — Check Before You Take
Medications can help us feel better and get well. But, if taken incorrectly or mixed with the wrong food or supplements, they can be dangerous. To ensure your safety, you should be involved and informed about the medications you take during your stay at the hospital as well as at home. Keep a list of your home medications, including vitamin supplements, herbal supplements, and over-the-counter items. Present this list to the nurse at the time of your admission. Share this list with your physicians at each doctor visit, with your pharmacist, and when you are registering for any treatments, tests, or procedures. It is important for your physicians and nurses to be aware of any drug allergies or adverse reactions you’ve experienced with certain medications. Medications that you take during your hospital stay will be prescribed by your doctor and dispensed through the Hospital pharmacy. Ask questions about your medications, correct dosages, the purpose of any medication, and possible side effects. Follow through with your physician’s treatment plan and instructions. If you experience an adverse reaction to a medication while you are a patient, ask the nurse or pharmacist for information about the medication so you will be knowledgeable about the medication that caused the adverse reaction. You will want to provide this information to your healthcare providers in the future.
Confirm Procedures — Initials Marks the Spot
To ensure your safety and to ease any worries you may have before surgery or invasive procedures, the following process must take place: You and your medical provider together will mark the correct surgery or procedure site. Your provider will write his/her initials on the area where the procedure is to take place. If you are not able to participate in the marking process, the surgeon will confirm the site prior to anesthesia. Before your procedure, feel free to ask questions.
Prevent Injuries — Help Us Keep You Safe
When you are hospitalized, you may experience weakness as a result of your illness, use of certain medications, or because of a surgical procedure. Call for assistance when you need to get out of bed, even if you think it is not necessary. Inform staff of safety devices you use at home for ambulation. Wear non-slip shoes/slippers when ambulating. Use your corrective eyewear in the Hospital as you would at home. Contact staff if there is a spill to avoid a slip/fall. Ask nursing staff to assist if it becomes necessary to detach or reconnect tubing catheters.
Hand Washing — Clean Hands Matter
One of the fastest ways people spread germs and infections is through the hands. Therefore, OMH has implemented the following hand washing guidelines designed for everyone’s safety: Wash your hands often and thoroughly. Ask your visitors to use hand sanitizer when they arrive and when they leave. A hand sanitizer dispenser is located in or near your room. If you don’t see your caregivers washing their hands or using the hand sanitizer , “speak up” and feel free to remind them to do so.
Special Precautions — Infection Prevention
Some patients require special precautions to protect themselves, staff, and visitors. This may require staff and visitors to wear a gown, mask, and gloves. Special instructions posted on the door of the patient’s room must be followed.
Respiratory Etiquette — Cough or Cover Your Sneeze
Serious respiratory illnesses like influenza, respiratory syncytial virus (RSV), whooping cough, and severe accute respiratory syndrome (SARS) are spread by:
- Coughing or sneezing
- Unclean hands
To Help Stop the Spread of Germs
Cover your mouth and nose with a tissue when you cough or sneeze If you don’t have a tissue, cough or sneeze into your upper sleeve, not your hands. Put your used tissue in the waste basket Clean your hands after coughing or sneezing Wash with soap and water OR Clean with an alcohol-based hand cleaner Some patients require special precautions to protect themselves, staff, and visitors. This may require staff and visitors to wear a gown, mask, and gloves. Special instructions posted on the door of the patient’s room must be followed.
Note: You may be asked to put on a surgical mask to protect others.
Communicate — Look. Listen. Ask. Learn
If you have any questions or concerns, please tell your doctor or nurse. We want to know if you are experiencing any pain or discomfort or if something isn’t right with your medications, diet, or overall care. The staff can verify that you are getting the right treatment or make the necessary changes. No question is too trivial when it comes to your healthcare, so please ask.
Sometimes unanticipated outcomes do occur. Please help us help you by remembering that you are part of your healthcare team! Your physician will inform you if any unanticipated outcomes should happen. As a patient, you have the right to know about your health. We will try to resolve issues that you bring to our attention.
Rapid Response — When To Call For Assistance
If you think the patient’s condition is getting worse, you can ask staff to call the “Rapid Response Team” or you can call to activate the team by dialing “0” and asking for the “Rapid Response Team” to come evaluate your loved one.
When To Call For The Rapid Response Team:
If a noticeable medical change in a patient occurs, notify the nursing staff. If after speaking with a nurse, you continue to have serious concerns, ask to have the Rapid Response Team contacted OR you can activate the team by dialing “0” and asking for the Rapid Response Team. The Rapid Response Team will be paged overhead and will arrive in the room to assess the situation. Additional clinical support will be called in as needed.
In offering our families the option to ask for an evaluation by the Rapid Response Team, we want you to know you are our partners in care. Problems can happen any time a patient is in the hospital. The Rapid Response Team can help before there is a medical emergency.
If you have any questions, please discuss them with one of our healthcare providers.
Remember, no one knows your loved one like you do!