August 18, 2022


Outstanding health & fitness

7 Tips for Patient Safety – Help Keep Your Parents Safe in the Hospital

All hospitals and health care settings have inherent risks to patient safety, and have procedures in place to help avoid mistakes. Ask about these procedures and get familiar with them so you can help safeguard your parents’ well being.

Be an advocate to help protect your parents’ interests. Don’t be distracted by the environment, or assume everything is going the way it should be going. Pay attention. Ask questions. Be sure you know how your parent feels about life support and heroic measures.

Know what’s happening. Get test results and ask what the results mean for the care plan. Be sure you understand any next steps the test results call for. Don’t assume “no news is good news”. If surgery is needed, be sure you and the doctor(s) agree on the procedure and the plan for the future.

Know the medications. Speak up if any medications do not look familiar. It’s always a good idea to double-check. Keep a list of all your parents’ medications with you and bring it to all appointments. Include over -the- counter drugs and herbal supplements on the list.

Clean hands matter a lot. Say something if the health care provider forgets to wash their hands or use a waterless cleaner before they treat. They will be glad for the reminder.

Know who is treating your parent. All hospital employees – including doctors, nurses, and staff – must have easily seen photo ID displayed. Learn who is in charge of your parents’ care and the name of the team leader. This is really important when the team is large and there are multiple health problems being treated.

Be sure the health care providers know who your parent is. Even though the team probably knows your mom, they should routinely check the patient ID band your dad is wearing before treatment is given.

Don’t be afraid to speak up if something seems wrong. Health care providers don’t want to make mistakes and will appreciate knowing if anything isn’t right.

These tips are especially useful when used in partnership with the hospitals’ safety procedures. Be involved in your parents’ care to avoid mistakes!