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Patient safety

Our primary goal at Sky Lakes Medical Center is to provide you with the highest quality healthcare with compassion and respect so you can achieve your best possible health. This goal can best be met by working together.

Everyone has a role in making healthcare as safe as possible—doctors, nurses and technicians working together and with patients. By becoming an active, involved and well-informed member of your healthcare team, you can play a vital role in making your healthcare safe.

Preventing falls

Most falls occur when patients try to get out of bed on their own, many while trying to get to the bathroom. It is always safer to ask for help.

Here are some tips to help prevent falls:

  • Ask for assistance from the nursing staff, especially at night.
  • Keep your call button near you.
  • Report any spills or objects that are on the floor.
  • Wear footwear with rubber soles to prevent slipping.
  • Make sure that you have adequate light to see.
  • If you wear glasses, keep them within reach.
  • Some medications may cause you to frequent the bathroom more often. Ask for help before getting up or out of bed.

Preventing infection

Germs and bacteria exist in every home, workplace and hospital. When you are ill or have had surgery, you are more susceptible to infection.

Here are tips to help you minimize your risk of infection:

  • Ask family members or friends who have colds or other respiratory symptoms not to visit you in the hospital.
  • Check with your doctor to see if you should have a flu or pneumonia vaccine to minimize your risk.
  • Some patients may be on "isolation" precautions to either protect them from getting infections or from spreading infection. If you are on these precautions, ask your doctor what you can do to help.

Handwashing is one of the best ways to prevent spreading illness.

Remember to clean your hands:

  • Before and after using the toilet.
  • Before and after you prepare food.
  • Before and after you eat.
  • After touching animals or animal waste.
  • After you cough or sneeze.
  • When your hands are dirty.

To properly clean your hands:

  • Wet hands with warm water.
  • Apply soap and rub hands for 15 seconds.
  • Rinse.
  • Dry with a paper towel.
  • Use towel to turn off faucet.

You can also use an alcohol-based hand sanitizer if soap and water are not immediately available.

Preventing treatment problems

It is important that healthcare providers know your identity. Check the information on your hospital ID band for accuracy. There may be more than one patient with the same name.

Whenever you are given medications, leave the unit for a test or procedure, or have blood drawn, offer your ID band to the staff for them to check as you state your name.

A well-informed patient can help doctors and nurses provide excellent care. The patient and family should know as much about treatment as they can. Ask questions about your diagnosis and treatment.

If you are having surgery, make sure that you, your doctor and your surgeon agree and are clear on exactly what will be done. You will be asked to participate by marking the site or side intended to be operated on.