Patient Safety is something we are all responsible. To help raise awareness I did a series of videos during Patient Safety Week to provide information that all can use. I hope you will take time to watch each one or read the transcript, but most of all do what you can do to stay safe! To view the video, just click the title: If you have a comment, please put it in the comment section. If you have a question or want to talk to me, please feel free to email me and we can set up a time to connect. My email is [email protected]
Hi my name is Anne Llewellyn. I am a nurse; case manager and nurse advocate I am also a brain cancer survivor. Patient Safety is everyone’s responsibility. As I traveled on my healthcare journey, I realized how challenging and dangerous it was to be a patient. As a result, I take time to educate people on ways they can navigate the healthcare system safely and effectively. Today, I am starting a series of post this week as March 14-20th is National Patient Safety Week. I hope the tips I share help you to have a safe healthcare experience. Remember, Patient Safety is everyone’s responsibility. In this episode, I want to make 7 points on importance of knowing your diagnosis, your doctor, and your medications.
- Be aware of your own health and do what you need to do prevent problems. If you have a chronic condition like cancer, diabetes, COPD, Heart Failure, Arthritis, Chronic Back Pain or any of the other disease that impact your quality of life. Ask your doctor for information so you can learn about your condition. Knowledge is Power. Many insurance companies provide information on medical conditions. If you do google anything make sure you look for reputable sites to gain information. Ask your doctor for sites they suggest that you visit to learn about your diagnosis. There is a lot of information on the web that is not accurate. Be careful!
- I suggest that you get a binder and keep information from your doctors’ appointments and any test results you get. If you get an x ray, a CAT Scan or an MRI, ask for a copy of the disc. Most doctors like to look at the original films if they can. Bring your binder to all of your doctors’ appointments so that you can share information you have that the doctor might not have.
- Make sure you are seeing doctors who you like and who understand you. The relationship you have with your doctor is critical to your health and welfare. You should not be afraid to tell them anything or ask a question. They cannot help you if you do not let ask them your questions. If you do not feel comfortable, you might want to look for another doctor. Your doctor does not need to be your friend, but you do need to feel comfortable with them. Your insurance company usually will have a list of physicians that is part of your insurance Network who you can check out.
- It is important to have a list of all of your doctors. I suggest that you write their name, their specialty area: such as oncologist, cardiologist. If you do not know the ‘official term, write down heart doctor or foot doctor. Include their address and phone number. If you know their nurse or Medical Assistant, get the name, and add this to the list. Getting to the right person when you call the office is important. Put this list in the front of your binder so it is handy.
- Check to see if your doctor has a patient portal that you can sign up for. Patient Portals are now being used to communicate with your healthcare team and help you set and keep your appointments, get test results and other medical records. They can be good time savers and a save way to communicate with your healthcare team.
- If you are prescribed medications, make sure you know what the medication is for and how to take it. Ask your doctor or his nurse/medical assistant what the medication is for and how it will help you. If you have concerns about it, speak up. Your medical team should be able to answer all of your questions about your medications and your plan of care. Keep in mind the pharmacists is also a member of your team. They can get in touch with your doctor if needed to check on things….you just have to say something. Keep your medications in a safe place and a place that will remind you to take your medication as prescribed.
- Make a list of all your medications, prescribed medicine as well as over the counter medications or supplements that you may be taking. It you have a computer, type them on a word document and update them as you they change. Here is what you should write on your paper: Name of the drug, the dose, how often you are to take the medications. The date you started and the date you are to take it till. Also note who ordered it and what pharmacy you are getting it though. All of this information is on the label of your medication. Save the list and update it as need. If your medication change, add the new medication to your list. Print off the list and keep it in your binder as you will want to share it with your various doctors. If you are not on a medication any longer throw any unused medication away. Do not keep old medication around. It is not safe.
I hope these tips are helpful. If you have questions, feel fee to private message me! Stay safe!
Good morning. Today is March 15th, 2021 Day 2 of Patient Safety Week. In this VLOG, I am going to talk about how you, your family and friends can be safe when you go to the hospital or a department in the hospital or outpatient facility.
- When you go to the hospital or another facility for admission or for tests, the first thing that you will need to do is register. This is an important process because the person taking your information will take important information that many people will use as they care for you. A fellow Advocate, Cathy Bowers, always advises her clients to ask for a copy of the Face Sheet. This is the document that has all your vital information on it. Many times, it is outdated or contains information that is not correct. So, I strongly recommend that when you register, you review the face sheet the person registering you. Also, ask for a copy so you can review it again. you to correct or update information. Make sure your name, phone number address, date of birth and insurance information is current and correct. You should also list an emergency contact in case you have a problem. If you family is out of town, you can give the family member you want to be contacted but it is also good to have a local contact.
- Advanced Directives: Everyone should have their advanced directives filled out and kept up to date. Your advance directives tell the healthcare team what YOU want to happen especially if you cannot speak for yourself.
- If you do not have your advance directives done, please look into getting them done as it is important. A document I like to recommend is Five Wishes. This is a simple document that you can use to understand and start the process. The website is https://fivewishes.org Talk to your doctor about advanced directives also. They should have information they can share. Once you have your advance directives done, make sure you give a copy to all your doctors, the family member(s) you want to have them and a close friend who you trust with your medical information. You should also keep them in your Binder so that if you have to go to the hospital fast, they will be in there for the hospital to have. Most ambulance drivers or fire rescue workers look for these when they come to your home.
- I also recommend that you visit a website call, Campaign Zero, https://campaignzero.org This is a website that has important information that you can read on how to stay safe when you enter the healthcare system. There is a list of resources and checklists that focus on going to the hospital. The lists have simple tips that will help you stay safe. Take time to read them as they are important.
As I mentioned in the first vlog, getting a copy of your x rays or lab test and putting them in your binder is important so that you have your records and can share with your team in case they don’t’ have access to them. I also recommend that you request a copy of your medical record if you go into the hospital or after doctor’s appointment. For hospital records, you can request them through the Medical Records Dept. You usually can find this on the website for the hospital or surgical center you are in. If not, the front desk can usually give information on how to get your records. IT is important to know that you have a RIGHT to get a copy of your Medical Records. You will need to sign a release to do this, but once done, you can ask that your records from a specific stay or visit be sent to you.
Reviewing your records and keeping a copy in your Binder is important so that you can share with your medical team. Also, many times your records can have mistakes in your history, diagnosis, or medications. By reviewing your records, you can point out discrepancies and put in a request to have them corrected. Today, because most providers and hospital have electronic health records your records can be emailed/downloaded/printed and saved in your personal binder to take along to the doctors visits.
I hope the tips provided today will be helpful to you. Take time to review the websites mentioned. I will also put them in the post where you will be able to access this video. Feel free to share the video with your family friends and your medical team. By working together, you can stay safe!
Reference: One way to find aa patient/heath advocate to support you at a time when you need help. www.gnanow.org.
Hope you are having a Happy St. Patrick’s Day and Day 4 of Patient Safety Week. Today, I want to talk about the various people in place to help you when you enter the healthcare system. Regardless of your entry point, you should be able to find a Case/Care Manager, a Patient/Health Advocate, or a member of the Patient Experience Team. Each of these people are in place in hospitals, managed care companies, outpatient centers and in many doctors’ offices. I am going to call these people “Helping Professionals”. They are in place to help you navigate the complex healthcare system. The “Helping Professionals” Are Usually Nurses, Social Workers, or other disciplines who specialize in the area you are being cared. They can answer your questions or find someone who can. They are in place to make sure you are safe and getting the care you need.
Their jobs are to break down barriers and find resources that you need to transition through the complex healthcare system. If you have a question or an issue arises when you are in the hospital, you can ask to speak to a case manager. If you have a complex condition or at risk for complications, your might have already met the hospital case manager. They can be in touch with your doctor or other members of the team to help you ask questions and find solutions. Problems can range from simple issue to complex issues, but the helping professionals are there to help you and your family.Your insurance company also has case managers on staff to help you manage your care when you are an outpatient. Maybe you need a specialist, or a place to go for rehabilitation. Talking to a case manager can provide options that are part of your insurance plan.
Here is a list of the “Helping Professionals” who are in place to help you on your healthcare journey.
The CEO or Chief Operating Officer: The CEO is the head of the hospital. Most people will never need to talk to the CEO, but if you have an issue that is not getting resolved to your satisfaction, you can ask the front desk person for the CEO’s office.
The Patient Experience Officer and Team: Today because most hospitals are being paid on value, they have added a new position to the Hospital Hierarchy. The Patient Experience Department is in place to make sure you, (the Patient) or your family have a good experience and to address issues that arise that cause you problems. They have a lot of power so feel free to ask if your hospital has a Patient Experience Department.
The Case/Care Management Department: This is the department where you will find a case/care manager. The names may differ, but they are in place to coordinate your care, help you transition from one setting to another and evaluate you for resources you need to reach your maximum potential. The hospital case manager will coordinate with the Insurance Case Manager and other case managers who are part of your ongoing team. For example, if you need home care or a rehabilitation center, the case managers will talk to each other to discuss what is needed for you to move to the next level of care.
Outside of the Hospital, you have the Insurance Case Manager. Every Insurance Company has a case manager department that you can call to help you with your healthcare needs. Don’t be afraid to ask for one.
Patient/Health Advocates: this is a newer area of professionals who are in place to help you. Many Patient Health Advocates are independent and will work directly with the patient or their family. They are not dependent on the Hospital or the Insurance Company for payment so they can be objective and help you find the care that you need to meet your needs and your goals. There is a fee to work with them, but they can reduce stress, help you organize things and chart a course that is right for you. Word of mouth is the way most people find an advocate but many of the professional organizations have searchable databases that can help you locate an advocate in your area. One organization is Greater National Advocates https://www.gnanow.org
Because health information is sensitive information, whoever you work with will need your permission to talk to your healthcare team so you most likely need a HIPPA Consent Form that shows you gave permission for someone to speak on your behalf. This is normal procedure today, so I wanted to mention it during this call.
I know this is a lot of information. If you need help feel free to direct message me and I can point you in the right directions.
To improve patient safety, we all need take an active part in your healthcare. But what does that mean? We are not doctors – what can I do? You can do a lot. Here are some tips that everyone can take to be involved in your care:
- Ask questions. The more you know – the more control you have over your quality of life.
- Learn about your condition: Knowledge is Power!
- Take to others who have similar conditions and share your successes and failure. A site like Patients Like Me is a good start.
- See if the hospital you go to has a Patient and Family Council. These are volunteer groups that look to patients and caregivers for idea on how to improve the services a hospital provider.
- Complete survey’s you get after a hospital stay, or a diagnostic test or a doctor’s appointment. Your opinion counts and changes can be made based on your input. Please feel free to add comments on positive things that you experience as well as challenges.
I hope these tips help……Stay safe!
Today marks the last day of Patient Safety Week in the United States. What I found when I was researching information for today’s post was that Patient Safety Week was not just recognized the United States, but it was recognized all over the world. It makes sense, Patient Safety is important for everyone, young, old, rich, poor, and all people regardless of the color of their skin. We are all potential patients, and we need to be part of the process of keeping ourselves and everyone else safe.
Patient Safety extends to all the health care professionals who provide care, and work in hospitals, office buildings where we see out doctors and any setting where we receive care. Housekeepers, those who prepare meals, payers who insure us etc.
Each person involved in the healthcare system including the patient and their families are responsibility for patient safety. Here are the goals that the International Community set for Patient Safety Week in 2021.
Goal One. Identify patients correctly
Goal Two. Improve effective communication.
Goal Three. Improve the safety of high-alert medications.
Goal Four. Ensure safe surgery.
Goal Five. Reduce the risk of health care-associated infections.
Goal Six. Reduce the risk of patient harm resulting from falls.
Patient safety is fundamental to delivering quality essential health services across the broad healthcare system. COVID 19 has reminded us how easily disease can spread. We have learned a lot during the pandemic. My hope is that we take much of what we learned and implement those things into our daily lives.
I hope the tips that I provided this week were helpful. I will be posting them on by Blog so you can access them any time and share them with your those you care about. Thank you for listening and reading my posts! Stay Safe!