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Safety in Healthcare

There’s a reason you’re asked for your name and birthday every time you have an appointment with your doctor. It’s all part of a larger effort to protect patient while being cared for by a healthcare employee. National Patient Safety in Healthcare Care is a dedicated time in June to encourage learning more about healthcare safety.

Being educated about patient protection and taking initiative for your well-being, can help improve your outcomes and have a more positive experience while visiting your provider.

Having knowledge of the most common safety challenges makes you better prepared for your next hospital visit. At Southwest Health, there are certain safety projects created to address these specific challenges and keep patients safe:

Patient Identification: At least two different forms of identification are required before giving care to each patient. This ensures that even patients with the same name, same birthdate, etc., are correctly identified, reducing the risk of error.

Trauma & Birth Simulators: Healthcare organizations focus time and resources into training staff. When it comes to simulating patient emergency, having as close to a real-life experience is essential. That’s how simulators can assist. At Southwest Health, healthcare teams use “Trauma Hal” is a simulator who can mimic real trauma and medical problems. Staff use Trauma Hal for training staff to be better prepared in emergencies and improve their response skills.

Medication Drop-Box: This secure drop-off allows for both patients and individual community members the safe disposal of unused and unwanted medications, addressing a critical need in our community. Southwest Health encourages community members to utilize this resource for the responsible disposal of medications, whether or not you are a patient at Southwest Health.

Education Whiteboards: Within every patient room is a whiteboard that includes essential information for that day like the patient’s name, their care team, and the care plan. Having this information easily accessible and readable to both patients and providers fosters clear communication and coordination of care.

When receiving care, there are ways you can be empowered to participate in your healthcare to increase your safety and overall experience. Here are three ways you can take charge:

# 1 Ask Questions: Don’t hesitate to ask your healthcare provider questions about your treatment, medications, and procedures. Some questions to consider:

  • What is this medication for, and how should I take it?
  • Are there any potential side effects I should watch for?
  • What should I do if I experience certain symptoms?

#2 Verify Medications: When you receive medications, whether in a hospital or pharmacy setting, take a moment to verify:

  • The name and dosage of the medication match your prescription.
  • When bringing in medications, bring prescriptions in their original bottle

#3 Utilize Resources: Take advantage of resources like medication drop-boxes for safe disposal of unused or expired medications.

By actively engaging in these practices, you become a partner in your own healthcare safety. Remember, your healthcare providers are there to support you, but your involvement and awareness play a crucial role in ensuring the best possible outcomes for your health.

Learn More from Southwest Health

Because the way we see it, lifelong learning is a beautiful thing. No matter what your age and ability, we’re here for you to help you learn and grow and thrive.