MDG to recognize National Patient Safety Week March 2-8

  • Published
  • By Dennis Marquardt
  • 82nd Medical Group
The 82nd Medical Group, in conjunction with the National Patient Safety Foundation, is pleased to participate in this year's National Patient Safety Week theme: "Patient Safety: A Road Taken Together."

The MDG will recognize this week March 2-8.

As the theme implies, patient safety is a journey taken by the patient and their health care provider, each of whom have responsibilities to ensure the journey is a safe one. The 82nd MDG would like to make you aware of some of the goals that are important to you, and to us, for your continued health and safety.

What patients should expect from the MDG staff:

· You should have your identity validated using two different forms of identification at every encounter within the medical group, whether checking in at a clinic, or using any of our support services such as lab, radiology, or pharmacy. This is important to make sure the right patient receives the right treatment or medications, and that the person is eligible for care within the Military Health System.
· You should expect that providers and staff will communicate with each other about your care to ensure continuity during transitions between providers or departments.
· If you take anticoagulants (blood thinners), you should expect scheduled blood tests and specific education regarding signs and symptoms of problems so you know when to call the doctor or seek emergency care, as well as what foods should be avoided that might interfere with the action of the blood thinner.
· You should expect staff to wash their hands, in your presence, before and after examining you. If that does not happen, please ask them if they have washed their hands. Washing hands is the single most effective way to control the spread of infections.
· You should be asked what medications you are currently taking, every time you come to the clinic, whether prescribed, over the counter, or herbal products, and be given a list of those medications to take with you. This is very important, as there can be contraindications between medications and/or herbal products that could affect how the medication works or reacts once taken.
· If you are hospitalized downtown, you should receive a complete list of medications that you are taking when discharged; if you do not get it, please ask for it. This is also important, as your medical records on base will need to be updated to reflect all your current medications.
· You should expect to be an equal participant in decisions about your health care. Ask your provider about risks of treatment or medication, as well as options available to you. If you do not feel comfortable asking a provider these types of questions, or seem to get overwhelmed when in the exam room, bring someone along with you to your appointment to ask those questions to help keep you on track and informed, as well as to present information to the provider that you may forget to discuss. If you are not satisfied with your care, ask to speak to someone else before you leave the clinic.
· The staff should treat you with courtesy and respect; if they do not, or you are not satisfied with the service you received, please speak to the clinic patient advocate (clearly posted in each area), or Jimmy Dillon, the MDG Patient Advocate, before you leave the clinic.

What the MDG staff should expect from you:

· Keep your appointment. Failure to cancel an appointment prevents others from using that appointment slot, and could be detrimental to your health. There were more than 700 no-shows during December. If you called to make an appointment, but couldn't be seen when you wanted to be seen, this may be one reason.
· Fully disclose your health history. This is extremely important. If you withhold information from a provider, he or she may not have all the necessary information to provide you with the most effective treatment, or worse yet, may provide the wrong treatment.
· Please do not bring children to the appointment with you. They can be distracting for the staff and cannot be adequately supervised during your examination.
· Be courteous to the staff; they are genuinely concerned about you and your health care and will do everything they can to meet your needs. If disagreements regarding health care options arise, respectfully ask for another opinion, or discuss the matter with one of the MDG patient advocates.

We appreciate this opportunity to improve your health and safety and look forward to working with you as we "take this road together."