Frequently Asked Patient Safety Questions

When It Comes to FAQs, We Have the Answers

Why do the members of my treatment team keep asking my name, date of birth, and/or to see my wristband? 

Confirming your identity is a safety precaution. Anyone providing you with medical care – for example, an IV drip or a prescription medicine – must verify your identity to make sure the right patient is receiving the appropriate care. Redundant sources of information – name, date of birth, and wristband – reduce the potential for errors. The first step toward keeping you safe is each treatment team member consistently confirming your identity.

Why does the nursing staff ask if I have to use the bathroom so often? 

This is another safety precaution. Your nurses ask you about using the bathroom as a way of preventing falls. If a nurse is present, he or she can assist you in getting to and from the bathroom. Using the restroom while alone is riskier, even for patients who are normally steady on their feet. Certain medications, for example, have a side effect of dizziness, and walking normally after certain procedures can take time.

How can I best avoid falling?

Falls are a leading source of hospital injury, and Baptist Health does not want you to fall. The best way to avoid a fall is to call for assistance from a member of your treatment team whenever you need to get out of bed or move from one location to another. Wearing sensible shoes or non-slip socks is also a good idea. Of course, the risk of falling doesn’t end at the hospital. Learn more about avoiding falls.

How can I keep track of my medications?

Drug names can be long and difficult to pronounce, but the good news is that you don’t have to be a pharmacist to accurately keep track of your medications. Keep an updated list of your prescriptions, with dosages, frequencies, side effects, and your reasons for taking them. Carry the list with you, especially when seeing a doctor or another medical provider. Learn more about medication safety.

How can I avoid infections?

While at a Baptist Health hospital, all the usual rules about personal hygiene apply, and then some. Frequent hand washing and dressing changes are important. Urinary catheter drainage bags should be kept below hip level. Also, if you have relatives who aren’t feeling well, discourage them from visiting you until they are over their illness. If you see a treatment team member or family member not following good hygiene guidelines, please speak up. Your health is definitely worth it. Find out more about proper hand hygiene

Why are members of my treatment team looking at the computer so often?

Baptist Health utilizes an electronic health record system called Epic. This system supports your care by providing and recording treatment plans, order sets, and medications. Epic also facilitates the correct treatment being provided by alerting healthcare providers to your treatment plan and changes in your condition. By making this information available to every member of your treatment team, Epic promotes patient safety. When staff members are reading or inputting information on the computer, they are ensuring you receive accurate, consistent care rooted in best practices.

Why are some patients in isolation?

Patients are isolated to prevent the spread of disease to other people in the medical environment. Isolated persons are typically either highly contagious or infected by a treatment-resistant organism. Isolated person may also be those who are immunosuppressed. Medical personnel visit isolated patients regularly and wear additional protection such as gowns and gloves.

What personal information do I need to bring with me to the hospital?

Please bring the following items, as appropriate: medical insurance card, Medicare/Medicaid card, the insured’s name and Social Security Number, physician referrals (if required by your health plan), referral-order guidelines, Worker’s Compensation information, driver’s license or photo identification card, copayments or deductibles, preadmission form (if required by your health plan), and healthcare power of attorney and advance directive forms.

What safeguards are in place to perform the right surgical procedure?

To ensure patient safety during surgery, Baptist Health follows the World Health Organization’s “Surgical Safety Checklist.” The checklist applies safeguards at three points during the surgical process – prior to anesthesia, prior to incision, and prior to leaving the operating room – and involves at a minimum a nurse, the anesthesiologist, and the surgeon. Safeguards include confirming the patient’s identity, marking the surgical site when appropriate, verifying technologies and medications, identifying allergies, counting surgical tools before closure, and addressing post-surgical treatment needs. 

How can I know I am getting the right medications?

Always ask your treatment team members if you have any questions or concerns about your medications. To practice safe medication protocol from the beginning of your visit, provide your team with an accurate list of your medications and their dosages. Equally important is providing them with feedback on how any new medications make you feel once you begin taking them. Drugs can have different effects on different people, and sometimes adjustments in dosage, frequency, or the medicine itself are required to achieve the best results. Find out more about medication safety.

How do I advocate for my loved one?

To be a strong advocate, you must be knowledgeable about your loved one’s needs and willing to speak up on his or her behalf. At Baptist, we encourage you to broach sensitive topics and address your questions and concerns with members of the treatment team. Your voice is incredibly important to us. As an advocate, you may also have certain legal responsibilities, as outlined in a healthcare power of attorney document. Learn more about caregiver advocacy.

What do I need to tell the members of my treatment team?

You should tell them anything you think is relevant to your care. They need to know how you’re feeling, and how that changes from day to day. They need to know your medical history, your family’s medical history, your current prescriptions, and any allergies. They need to know how you react to the medications and treatments you receive. Finally, please share your anxieties and concerns, so that they can play a positive role in helping you deal with them. Remember: Your voice is the most important one on the team.