At Howard County General Hospital, patient safety is a top priority and we strive to heighten the safety awareness of our patients, visitors and staff. There are many innovative programs and processes we've put in place to improve the care our patients receive, such as alarms, confirming your identity prior to a procedure or medication, hand washing, fall prevention methods and surgical protocols.
Surgical Invasive Procedures
The site of your procedure should be marked prior to the procedure if the site involves laterality (left or right), multiple structures (fingers, toes or lesions) or multiple levels such as in spine surgery. You will be asked to participate in the site-marking unless the nature of the procedure or your mental status precludes your participation. In that event, family members or significant others may be asked to help.
In compliance with Joint Commission requirements, when patients are admitted to HCGH, when they are admitted for surgery or when they arrive for any invasive procedure, a nurse will provide important patient safety information and will review this information with the patient and his or her family to be certain they fully understand.
If an alarm sounds in your room and no one responds, call a staff member to make sure someone is aware of the alarm. Alarms include: IV pumps, cardiac monitors, call lights and bed exit alarms.
All health care givers should wash their hands before and after contact with every patient, even when gloves are worn. Do not be afraid to ask your care givers to wash their hands. Hand washing is the best way to prevent the spread of infection.
Prevent Patient Falls
Make certain that your care giver is aware if you have any history of falls, either at home or in the hospital. If you are identified to be at high risk for falls, a “fall-prevention” protocol will be followed. We encourage you to use your call light for assistance in getting out of bed. Also, please advise your nurse if you have frequent toileting needs. Do not attempt to get out of bed without first calling your care giver. Learn more about preventing falls at home.
Helpful Web Sites
- Agency for Health Care Research and Quality
- National Patient Safety Foundation
- The Joint Commission