At Glenwood Regional Medical Center, our goal is to help patients have a safe and positive hospital experience. We’ve put many safety measures in place to reduce falls, allergic reactions, infections, equipment malfunctions, and medication errors. Still, there are some risks possible with any visit to a hospital. We believe that when patients and hospitals work together, we can lower the risk of accidents and improve the safety for all involved.
Research shows that patients who are more involved with their care tend to get better results. Communication with your health care providers is extremely important. Make sure you understand all aspects of your care, including tests, procedures, medications and other instructions regarding your medical condition. Speak up if you have questions and expect answers you can understand. You have the right to be well informed about the care you are receiving.
Tips to Stay Safe
Here are some topics you should discuss with your health care providers to help make your hospital stay as safe as possible:
- If you have allergies to certain medications, be sure to tell your doctors and nurses and ask for that information to be documented in your medical records.
- Inform your health care providers of any medications you are currently taking, including prescription medications, over-the-counter medications, vitamins, minerals, dietary/herbal supplements, laxatives, pain relievers, sleeping aids, etc.
- Ask all questions you have pertaining to medications that are prescribed for you. Make sure you understand what the medication is for, the dosage, directions for use, refills, storage, expiration, and what to do about missed dosages. Discuss any side effects or warnings associated with the use of the medication and what to do if you experience side effects.
- If your doctor orders treatment or tests during your hospital stay, a member of your healthcare team will describe what you should expect during the procedure. You should discuss questions or any concerns you might have and ask for any information that makes you feel most comfortable and confident about the care you are receiving.
- Make sure you are clear about any instructions you are given when leaving for home, including recommended or limited activities, scheduling follow-up appointments and what medications you need to take.
Quality and Safety Initiatives
Glenwood Regional Medical Center is continuously looking for ways to improve the service and care to our patients. Staff were surveyed in 2022 on areas that could have a negative impact on the safety of our patients. Feedback provided by the staff caused us to focus our efforts on information being communicated to the transferring and receiving department during hand-offs.
What is a hand-off? A hand-off is a transfer and acceptance of patient care responsibility achieved through effective communication. It is a real-time process of passing patient-specific information from one caregiver to another or from one team of caregivers to another for the purpose of ensuring the continuity and safety of the patient’s care*
The purpose of the hand-off is to ensure continuous and safe patient care. Inadequate handoff communication can be a significant risk to patients. Hospitals are complex with a high risk of communication lapses, especially during hand-offs.
As a result of the feedback obtained during the survey, a quality improvement team was established to assess the hand-off process. Through observations of real time hand-offs, the team identified opportunities to improve and standardize the process across the hospital. The team’s improvement efforts involved educating the staff in all clinical departments on the correct hand-off procedure. Follow-up audits revealed the actions were effective and provided an opportunity to provide real time feedback to staff.
GRMC is proud of this quality improvement endeavor as we continuously work to improve the care of our patients.
*2017 The Joint Commission