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Friday, February 15, 2013 - CentraState Promotes Patient Safety Awareness Week

News  Release

For Release: February 15, 2013
Contact: Abbey Luterick, Director of PR & Communications 
732.294.7082

                       

CentraState Promotes Patient Safety Awareness Week

FREEHOLD TOWNSHIP - CentraState Medical Center takes patient safety very seriously, through providing informational materials, seminars, and reminders throughout the year for caregivers, staff and patients.  Once a year, however, the National Patient Safety Foundation sets aside one week to encourage further awareness of and commitment to patient safety throughout the country.  This year’s campaign theme is 7/365: 7 days of recognition running from March 3-9, 2013; 365 days of commitment to safe patient care.  CentraState will honor this campaign through educational displays in the main lobby, a seminar for staff, and a Safety Fair during Patient Safety Awareness Week. 

Patients can play a large role in enhancing their own safety both in and outside of the hospital through following a few basic guidelines. 

General Tips

  • Become a more informed health care consumer, through researching your conditions, appropriate doctors, and treatment options.  Seek more than one opinion.
  • Provide, to the best of your knowledge, the most complete and up-to-date information concerning your present complaints, medical history, and medications.
  • Include any over-the-counter medicines or dietary supplements that you are taking, such as vitamins or herbs, in your list of medications. 
  • Confirm that all of your doctors know of any allergies or adverse reactions to medications you have taken.
  • Work with your doctor and associated health personnel as a team, asking questions until you fully understand a proposed course of action.
  • Involve a family member or friend in your care as a second pair of ears and as an advocate.  When picking up medications, confirm that the medication, dosage, and patient name are all correct on the label. Take the medication only as prescribe
  • Confirm that the pharmacy has your allergies or past drug interactions listed in its computer to alleviate any harmful drug interactions.

In-Hospital Tips

  • Wash your hands frequently; ask visitors to wash theirs as well.  This may be with soap and water or with alcohol gel.
  • Ask clinicians if they have washed their hands prior to treating you.
  • Check your ID bracelet for accuracy. Staff will use this bracelet to confirm that they are administering all medications and treatments to the correct individual.
  • Verify that blood and other specimens taken from your body are labeled in front of you.
  • Inform your doctor(s) and associated health personnel of any perceived changes in your health while hospitalized.
  • Inform your nurse if you have a history of falls.
  • If you need help walking, request assistance before leaving the bed.
  • If you need surgery, make sure that you, your doctor, and the surgeon are all clear on what will be done.
  • Confirm the surgery site with the surgeon right before the procedure.

Upon Discharge From The Hospital

  • Make sure that you understand all discharge instructions prior to leaving the hospital.
  • Determine if your pharmacy carries the medication(s) recommended by your physician in the discharge instructions.  If not, get a supply from the hospital outpatient pharmacy until your local pharmacy obtains the medication(s). 
  • Obtain the names and numbers of all medical personnel and home healthcare companies you will need to contact after discharge.
  • Schedule an appointment with your primary care physician.
  • Clarify bathing and activity instructions with your physician.
  • Avoid people who are sick.
  • Wash your hands often, especially before changing the dressings on any surgical sites.
  • Update your medication list to reflect any new medications.                                                         

When caregivers, staff, and patients all work toward the common goal of increased patient safety, everyone is a winner.  For additional information on any of these recommendations, please view CentraState’s Patient & Visitor Information page.