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Patient Safety & Quality | During Your Stay

General Information

Take an Active Role in Your Care
Be an active decision maker about your care. Let caregivers know about your concerns and goals so that everyone can work to meet your needs. Some medical terms can be hard to understand, so ask for terms to be explained. Also, ask questions before and after treatments you have received and the care you have been given to make sure you stay informed.

Check Your Name Bracelet
Check your name bracelet to be sure all information is accurate and readable. If something is incorrect or cannot be read, please inform your nurse. Make sure your caregivers check your identification bracelet and verify you are the correct patient prior to giving you medications, drawing blood, or giving you any other treatment.

Become Familiar with Your Caregivers
Expect your caregivers to introduce themselves to you and their role in your care. Become familiar with your caregivers so they can address your unique health care needs. The more comfortable you feel with your caregivers, the better you’ll be able to communicate your needs and allow us to address them.

Ask for Reference Materials
Ask if there are videos you can watch to understand your diagnosis, treatment, and maintaining your health. In addition, there may be printed materials you can take home for future reference about your care. You may also ask the staff at Hartford Hospital Health Sciences Libraries for more information.


Your Care

Know About Medication Safety
Let caregivers know ALL of the medications you are taking, including vitamins, over the counter drugs (such as, aspirin, antacids, pain relievers, etc.), or even herbs and “natural” products. These can all have unwanted effects when combined with medications or anesthesia.

Familiarize yourself with the name, color, and size of the medications you are taking in the hospital. If you do not recognize a medication given to you in the hospital, question the nurse to be certain it is the correct medication for you and you understand what it is for. Remember to make sure staff checks your identification bracelet prior to giving you medications.

Ask questions about the medications you are taking while in the hospital, so you know why you are on them, if there are any side effects you should be aware of, and if there are any foods/activities you should avoid while on the medication.

Be An Aware Patient
Keep your call button near you to alert staff if you need assistance. Also, keep your overhead light cord within easy reach. Make sure you report any possible dangers you see within the hospital, such as wet floors or faulty equipment.

If you need assistance moving, (such as getting to and from the bathroom), ask for help from the staff. This can help prevent falls and keep you safe.

Report Any Changes to Your Doctor or Nurse
Your doctor and/or nurse need to know about any changes in your condition or new symptoms to help make an accurate diagnosis and assist in managing any problems. If you feel that something has changed in your condition, alert your caregivers. Speak up!

Help to Minimize the Spread of Infection
All Hartford Hospital employees are expected to follow basic infection control standards to help ensure your safety, as well as their own, and that of fellow workers.

Body Substance Precautions (BSP)

BSP is the infection control standard used universally at Hartford Hospital. This means that these precautions are used for every patient in the hospital, regardless of their diagnosis. Part of BSP includes workers using and wearing protective equipment to prevent contact with blood or body fluids. Some of the equipment you may see workers using include: gloves, gowns, masks and eye protection. Some items are discarded in special containers. You will see a needle box in you room to discard used needles and syringes. This helps to protect workers and others from injuries that could be caused by sharp items. We also have specific trashcans in the room for medical waste.

Hand Washing
Washing ones hands is the most important way to prevent infections. You will see workers frequently washing their hands to protect both patients and themselves. You should also wash your hands often to help protect yourself. It is especially important to wash your hands after using the bathroom and before eating.

Ask everyone who comes in contact with you to wash his or her hands to prevent the spread of infection. Caregivers may use the hand sanitizer dispensers located near every patient room or use a sink with soap and running water. Also, ask your family and friends to refrain from visiting the hospital if they are sick.

Infection control is everyone's responsibility and is important in providing you with the best care possible during your hospitalization.


Surgery

Make sure you understand the procedure that will be done and feel comfortable with it. Don’t be afraid to ask for a second opinion before agreeing to the surgery. Also, ask your doctor if there are any alternatives to surgery, what are the benefits and risks, and what your outcome might be if you don’t have the surgery. When you completely understand the procedure and agree to it, ask your doctor who will be in charge of taking care of you after surgery and how your pain will be controlled. Inquire about how long you may take to recover and what restrictions on activities you will have to take.

When the anesthesiologist visits you prior to the surgery, tell him or her if you have any allergies, including an allergy to latex. Don’t assume that he or she knows because you told other caregivers. If you or a family member has ever experienced a bad reaction to an anesthetic, please inform the anesthesiologist of that as well.

On the day of your surgery, you will be asked to confirm with the Operating Room staff the procedure you are about to undergo, the correct location, and side, if applicable. The correct location will be marked with “Yes.” For example, if you are having your left foot operated on, you will be asked to identify which foot will be operated on and then your left foot will be marked “Yes.”

Patient Safety & Quality

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