Local hospitals join national safety week
Providence Medical Center, Kansas City, Kan., and St. John Hospital, Leavenworth, are recognizing National Patient Safety Awareness Week March 2-8, by encouraging patients to take a more active role in their health care.
"Patient safety is an important aspect of delivering quality patient care at Providence and St. John," said Nancy May, director of Risk Management for the hospitals.
To promote patient safety, the Joint Commission has created a consumer education campaign called "Speak Up," which the hospitals participate in and support. The campaign advises consumers to:
¢ Speak up if you have questions or concerns. If you still don't understand, ask again.
¢ Pay attention to the care you get. Always make sure you're getting the right treatments and medicines by the right health care professionals. Don't assume anything.
¢ Educate yourself about your illness. Learn about the medical tests and treatment plan.
¢ Ask a trusted family member or friend to be your advocate (advisor or supporter).
¢ Know what medicines you take and why you take them. Medicine errors are the most common health care mistakes.
¢ Use a hospital, clinic, or other type of health care organization that has been carefully checked out. For example, The Joint Commission visits hospitals to see if they are meeting its quality standards.
¢ Participate in decisions about your treatment. You are the center of the health care team.
May recommends members of the community visit the Joint Commission on the Accreditation of Healthcare Organization's Web site at www.jointcommission.org. It provides practical tips on how health care consumers can become more involved in their hospitalization.