Tools & Info for Patient Safety
Little-known insider tips for getting the care you want for the people you love. (Please share!)
How does your hospital rate on safety?
When planning a hospital stay, check out the hospital recommended by your doctor. For example, If she practices at two hospitals and one has a lower rating, you may want to discuss both options with her.
These services rate hospitals on different factors; taken together, they paint a good picture of what you can expect. It’s worth the time to look up your hospital on both:
Worried your loved one is “going downhill” in the hospital and no one is responding to your concerns?
You know your loved one best. If you ever spot changes in their condition that signal trouble to you but medical team can’t or won’t respond, you can call the equivalent of 911 in the hospital.
From the landline, dial O/operator, give the room number and say:
“I need a Rapid Response Team” OR “I’m calling a Condition Help”
What’s alarm fatigue?
(And why it can be deadly)
If you’ve ever had a pack of kids play ball on your street, you know how easy it is to tune out the din. The same can happen in hospitals: with patient monitors ringing alarms through every shift, it’s easy to understand how nurses can miss hearing them.
Alarms signal that a patient is in trouble and you can help!
- If an alarm goes off on your loved one’s monitor and no one responds quickly, push the call button on the bed to reach the nurse’s station, or if it’s safe for you to leave, find a nurse for help.
- If your loved one’s monitor alarms frequently and you’ve been told that it’s because of a malfunction, ask for a replacement – you want to have confidence in the equipment that’s monitoring your loved one’s condition!
- If you hear a monitor alarm ringing for any other patient and no one seems to be responding, let a nurse know! It takes a village to support vulnerable patients and their medical teams!
Do you know patients’ rights in health care?
For a long time, health care was a “one-way street”: doctors prescribed care and “good” patients followed directions. Now, the doctor-patient relationship is evolving into a partnership where two-way communication is the norm and patients’ rights are transparent.
Knowing these rights will help you partner with your medical team!
- The Patient’s Bill of Rights
- Your Informed Consent for treatment
- HIPAA, Your Right to Privacy