Patient Safety in the Midst of March Madness

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March Madness.  In like a lion, out like a lamb - or, this year at least, in like a lamb and out like a lion.  Basketball and leprechauns.  March can be downright chaotic.

Perhaps that's why right smack in the middle of the month, March 12-18, is Patient Safety Awareness Week.  At Greene County Medical Center, it puts everything into perspective and reminds us that the most important thing we do in March - and year-round - is provide safe patient care.  And this requires rigorous and consistent patient safety measures.

Sandy Atkinson, the medical center's director of quality management and patient experience, outlines seven measures implemented here at the medical center to ensure patient safety:

Handwashing

We wash our hands with soap and water or alcohol-based hand rub to protect our patients from developing a hospital acquired infection.

Medication Reconciliation

When admitted, a patient may visit with a pharmacist to review all current medications.

Allergies

Before we give a patient any medication, we verify for any medication or food allergies.  This helps us ensure that the patient will not receive any medicine that could cause an adverse reaction.

Two Patient Identifiers

We use two patient identifiers when we administer medication.  We ask patient name and date of birth to ensure patient safety.

Fall Safety

Once admitted, we monitor a patient's condition to determine if the patient is a fall risk.  Illnesses and new medication can affect patients differently.

Follow-Up Phone Call

Our patients get a follow-up phone call after they are discharged home.  We call to find out how the patient is getting along and if there are any questions about discharge instructions.

Transitional Home Visit

We may visit our patients at home after they have been discharged from being an inpatient at the medical center.  We want to ensure that our patients have all the information and equipment needed to be successful at home after their hospitalization.

Everyone here at Greene County Medical Center - no matter our job title - is here to provide patient care.  Which means all of us are here to ensure patient safety - during Patient Safety Awareness Week and beyond.