Working together, we can prevent medical errors.
We at Affinity Health System hospitals are committed to providing safe health care to our patients and their families. We believe that everyone plays an important role - the physician, nurses, technicians and YOU! Recent articles in newspapers and magazines have pointed out that medical errors can and do happen in good hospitals.
What are medical errors?
A medical error can happen anywhere at any time. The errors occur when something that was part of your medical plan of care did not work out, or when the plan of care was wrong to begin with. Errors can involve medications, surgery, wrong diagnosis, and equipment use or lab reports.
What is Affinity doing to prevent errors?
Affinity Health System hospitals are actively working on preventing medical errors. We require that all patients have an identification armband placed upon admission to the facility. During your stay, you can expect:
- Your care team will check your armband each time they give you a medication. This also includes IV medications.
- Staff will ask you to identify yourself, or have your advocate identify you, when going to tests and procedures.
- When your blood is drawn, your armband will be checked to verify your identity.
- If you are scheduled for surgery, you will be asked to confirm where (on what part of the body) you are having surgery, and the surgery site will be marked by your physician or nurse if applicable.
- You will be informed of any unanticipated adverse outcomes.
- If you receive blood or blood products, your armband will be checked to verify your identity.
How can I, as a patient, help?
You as the patient, or your family advocate, play a vital role. It is important that you participate in planning your care with your physician and nurses. This includes the following:
- Ask questions when you do not understand what is going on.
- Make sure your physician knows what medications you are currently taking. This includes prescription and over the counter medications, and dietary supplements such as vitamins or herbs.
- Make sure your care team knows about any allergies you may have had to medications.
- Ask your caregivers if they have washed their hands prior to providing patient care for you.
- Offer to show your armband to staff when they enter the room.
- Ask staff to explain what they are doing and why. Keeping informed of your plan of care has shown to be a key area in error reduction.