Partnering With Our Patients To Make Health Care Safer
At The Valley Hospital, health care safety is a top priority and everyone has a role to play -- including our patients. You, our patient, can play a vital role in making your care safe by becoming an active, involved and informed member of your health care team. Research shows that patients who take part in decisions about their health care are more likely to have better outcomes. Valley urges all of its patients to become active participants in their care. Here are some simple ways to do that:
• Handwashing is the most important way to prevent the spread of infection. Make sure everyone washes their hands before they have contact with you.
• Make sure that all caregivers confirm your identity, by checking your identification wristband and asking your name before administering any medication or treatment.
• Ask a trusted family member or friend to be your advocate. Your advocate can help you to remember answers to questions or better understand consents for treatment. They can speak up for you if you are unable.
• Know the medications you take and why you take them. Ask for written information including brand and generic names especially for medications that are new to you.
• Be sure to tell your doctor, nurse and/or pharmacist about all the medications you take. Also include vitamins, dietary supplements and herbal preparations since they have the potential to interact with one another.
• If you do not recognize a medication, verify it has been ordered for you. Read the label and ask about medications before taking them.
• If you are having surgery, ask the surgeon to mark the area to be operated upon so there is no confusion once you are in the operating room.
A note about the prevention of falls: In unfamiliar places, such as hospitals, your chance of falling increases significantly. There are a number of factors which influence the chance for a fall including waking from sleep or taking medication that inhibits your senses. Calling for assistance before you feel an urgent need reduces your risk for falling. Ask about The Valley Hospital’s Fall Prevention Program when you are admitted.