4th MDG ready for Patient Safety Awareness Week

  • Published
  • By 1st Lt. Janelle Quinn
  • 4th Medical Support Squadron information systems flight commander
The National Patient Safety Foundation has designated March 10-14 as Patient Safety Awareness Week.

The 4th Medical Group's goal is to spread the word about patient safety to all of its beneficiaries.

Listed below are common practices everyone should follow to increase health awareness and overall patient safety.

Be an active participant in your health care. Understand all treatments and medications prescribed for you. Ask questions. If you're afraid you will forget some of the information after your appointment, ask for information and instructions in writing. Bringing someone to your appointments to help you remember is also a great idea.

If you have a chronic health problem, it's always a good idea to carry a short health history in your wallet. Include the name of the illness, the name and phone number of your health care provider and any medications or treatments you're currently prescribed. Include over-the-counter medicine and dietary supplements. If you have any allergies, note these as well so if emergency care is needed, all of the information is available.

When you receive a new prescription, make sure you can read it and understand your health care provider's directions. When you pick it up at the pharmacy, look at both the label and the contents to be sure it is what you expect. If you have any questions, no matter how small, ask before you leave. If you receive liquid medicine, be sure to ask the best way to measure it to get the proper dose.

If you have a test, don't assume you will be called with the results. Ask a member of your healthcare team how you will be notified of the results and what to do if you are not by a certain time. If the results take longer than they should, call to obtain the information.

It's all about teamwork and open communication between three partners: health care professionals, patients and their families.

To sum it all up:

- Patients should speak up and take part. Be an active member of the health care team.
- Family members need to be an advocate for their loved ones. Get involved and ask questions.
- Health care professionals should listen to their patients. Communicate openly about their care.

If you have questions or concerns about patient safety at the 4th Medical Group, call the Patient Safety Officer, Olive Cyrus at 722-0784.