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Staying safe while in hospital

At Mater, we are committed to providing the safest possible environment for staff, patients
and visitors.

As part of our commitment to exceptional care, we use an organisation-wide program to ensure we always remain vigilant and seek to improve.

We call it SafeQuest—for a safer Mater community.

The following presentation details how you can stay safe while in hospital.

Identify yourself

  • To ensure that we are providing safe, quality care your identification will be checked frequently.
  • You will be provided with an identification band during your stay. If you have an allergy this band will be red.
  • Let us know if any of your personal information is incorrect (for example, your name and date of birth).
  • A member of your healthcare team will check and confirm your identification prior to performing treatments/procedures, surgery, giving medications, specimen collection or
  • blood transfusions.
  • If you think that identification is not being checked appropriately, please let a member of your healthcare team know.

Ask questions and be involved in your care

  • Speak to us if you have any concerns or if there is anything about your treatment that you do not understand.
  • If you think of questions when your doctor or nurse is not present, write them down so that you can ask them at a later time.
  • Sharing of patient information between clinical staff will happen frequently during your stay at hospital. It is important that you participate during this exchange of information when you are able.

Preventing infection

  • Be aware that hand washing is the best way to prevent the spread of germs.
  • If you feel you need to remind staff to clean their hands before examining you or giving you your medicine, please do so.
  • Ask friends and relatives who have coughs and colds, diarrhoea and vomiting, or other contagious illnesses not to visit you or anyone in the hospital.

Your role in medication safety

  • Ask your nurse, pharmacist or doctor about your medicines—what they are, what they do, what they look like, when they are given, and what side effects they might have.
  • If you do not recognise a medicine, check that it is for you and ensure you know why you are
  • taking it.
  • Ensure you let your doctor or nurse know if you have any allergies or have had previous reactions to any drugs, food or latex products (or anything else).
  • Inform your doctor and nurse about all medicines you are taking, including vitamins, herbal remedies, and over the counter medicines.

Reducing the risk of developing a pressure injury or bed sore

  • Pressure injuries or bed sores develop when a person has remained lying or sitting in one spot for an extended period of time.
  • If you are able, keep mobile as much as possible and let a member of your healthcare team know if you are uncomfortable.
  • We can assist you to change position and provide ways to help relieve pressure.

Falls prevention

  • Many factors, including unfamiliar surroundings, poor balance, impaired eyesight, unsafe footwear, medical conditions and medications can increase your risk of falling while in hospital.
  • Keep your nurse call bell close to you.
  • Ask for help when getting out of bed, especially at night, and when you need to use the bathroom.
  • Wear well supported shoes with rubber soles or the traction socks that are provided and use your usual walking aid.

Blood transfusions

If you require a blood transfusion while in hospital:

  • the reasons, risks and benefits will be explained to you. Make sure you understand these before you agree to the transfusion and sign the consent form
  • ask your doctor or nurse if there is anything you do not understand
  • you will be asked to confirm your identity prior to your blood transfusion. Staff will follow strict
  • checking procedures before and during every transfusion
  • ensure you inform a member of your healthcare team immediately if you begin to feel unwell during a transfusion.

Key points to remember

  • If you or your loved ones are worried that your condition is either not improving or in fact becoming worse, continue to share your concerns with our clinical staff until everyone is satisfied that your concerns have been addressed.
  • We want you to work with us to create the best experience for you or the person for whom you care.

Read this information in other languages

Staying safe while in hospital—Chinese Simplified

Staying safe while in hospital—Chinese Traditional

Staying safe while in hospital—Vietnamese

Mater acknowledges consumer consultation in the development of this patient information.
Mater Doc Num: PI-CLN-420048
Last modified 15/8/2017.
Consumers were consulted in the development of this patient information.
Last consumer engagement date: 22/6/2015
For further translated health information, you can visit healthtranslations.vic.gov.au/ supported by the Victorian Department of Health and Human Services that offers a range of patient information in multiple languages.
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