This week is Patient Safety Awareness Week, an opportunity to encourage everyone to learn more about preventing harm in health care. At Cooper, we take your safety while in our care very seriously. Whether you’re visiting a primary care physician for your annual visit, or seriously ill in the hospital, we’re making sure we’re doing everything we can to help you get healthy and stay healthy.
1. You can trust that we know who you are because we will ask you.
Do you feel like you have to repeat yourself over and over when you’re receiving care? It’s not your imagination – it’s part of how we keep you safe! In 2017, Cooper admitted 30,036 patients to the hospital and had nearly 1.7 million outpatient visits – that’s a lot of people. To confirm your identify we’ll ask for at least two patient identifiers, such as your name and date of birth, and we’ll ask what brings you to Cooper so that we know who we’re talking to and what care you’re receiving. This keeps you safe by ensuring that even if you have the same name as someone else, or the same procedure, we know the difference and care for the right person the right way.
2. You have a team involved in your care.
When you’re sick, time is critical. By working as a team, we share news and updates about your tests and services, and we communicate that to the rest of your team of doctors, nurses, technicians, and more, as well as to you and your family. This keeps you safe by helping us catch changes in your health as soon as possible, and preventing, diagnosing, or treating new issues as they happen.
3. You can look over at anything in your room and know what it is.
Everything included as part of your care is labeled – everything – from medications and medical containers to equipment and cleaning supplies. This keeps you safe by ensuring we know what we’re using, how to use it, and how to dispose of it.
4. You are surrounded by people who want to see you get healthier.
We work to reduce your risk of a hospital-acquired infection by requiring everyone to follow hand hygiene and contact precautions, by cleaning and disinfecting all patient rooms and environments, and by having visitor restrictions in place during flu season. We wear gloves and other protective equipment when necessary to keep you safe by reducing your exposure to infections and other illnesses when your body is working on healing.
5. You are our complete focus.
We make sure surgeries happen on the right person, at the right site, with the right procedure by using a full team “time-out” so that everyone you trust with your care has the time to verify your identity and procedure to keep you safe. What does this look like in practice? During surgery, before anything else happens, the entire team will stop what they are doing and verify your identity, your procedure, your allergies, and much more. You are the focus of everyone involved in your care when you are depending on us the most.
Do you have questions about patient safety at Cooper? Click here to learn more about how we’re keeping you safe.