Patient Safety | Polk Medical Center

Patient Safety

Patient safety is a priority at Polk. Our Quality and Infection Prevention departments work together to improve patient safety, eliminate medical errors and ensure patients have the best possible outcomes through several initiatives.

Top Strategies for Keeping Our Patients Safe


 

Accurate Patient Identification

We make an extra effort to make sure the right care is provided to the right patient every time, beginning with the registration process.

Every patient is given an identification bracelet printed with the patient’s name and medical record number. This bracelet should not be removed until after discharge. Each time we provide a service to the patient, this bracelet, which has a unique barcode associated with each individual patient, is scanned. This ensures our patients receive the appropriate medicines, treatments and instructions and that bills are accurate and complete.

Your caregiver has been instructed to check your badge each time you receive a service. In addition, your caregiver should verbally and physically check this information with you.

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Communication and Teamwork

Floyd promotes clear communication and teamwork and cross-monitoring in multiple ways:

  • Patient Communication Boards – Each patient room is equipped with a dry-erase board used by clinical staff to report progress to each other and to patients. Patients may also use the board to note questions or concerns they may have.
  • Hourly Rounding – Nurses are encouraged to round on their patients each hour to ensure patients are progressing as expected and to learn of any issues that may arise.
  • Leader Rounding – Leaders round on staff members and other leaders regularly to learn about and correct any issues that may arise and to celebrate successes.
  • Monthly Leadership meetings – Leaders meet with executives and team members to establish and discuss progress toward goals.

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Electronic Health Records

Floyd uses an Electronic Medical Record (EMR) system to collect and maintain detailed medical files on each patient. The EMR has many patient safety features:

  • Access to complete patient records, including medication lists
  • Electronic prescriptions with automatic drug interaction alerts
  • Automatically populated allergy lists
  • Easy-to-read information
  • Real-time test results
  • Timely safety information

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Infection Prevention

Keeping our environment free from infections is a top priority. Our infection prevention practices are a continuing focus:

  • Hand washing before and after contact with each patient
  • Use of specially trained infection control staff to monitor infection rates and ensure compliance
  • Timely administration of recommended antibiotics to patients prior to surgery
  • Use of Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) guidelines for cleaning and sterilization of equipment
  • Use of recommended practices for wound care and care of hospital-placed lines and tubes
  • Regular education and awareness of infection control practices

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Speak Up

Floyd encourages staff and patients to speak up promptly when there is a concern or potential issue. Employees can notify leaders of concerns without fear of retribution, and the patient-focused Speak Up program encourages patients and visitors to take the initiative in reporting issues ore concerns.

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Rapid Response Teams

These intervention teams bring immediate, expert clinical care to patients whose health status indicates a need for rapid medical intervention. Teams use their expert skills to bring advanced care to the bedside of patients with urgent needs. They also round on high-risk patients and work with the patient care team to ensure medical issues are addressed quickly

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Reliable Systems and Solutions

Floyd uses quality improvement methods such as Lean and Six Sigma to identify opportunities for improvement using innovative solutions. Teams use these methodologies to eliminate waste and improve efficiency without sacrificing quality or value.

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Safe Medication Practices

Medication safety is key, and Floyd provides both staff and technological tools to manage this process safely:

  • Real-time alerts provide physicians and staff with up-to-date safety information
  • Medication safety teams oversee medication administration and investigate ways to reduce risks
  • Medication safety technologies, such as “smart” infusion pumps, automated medication dispensing and bar coding reduce the potential for human error
  • Monitoring every aspect of medication use — from buying the safest products to the safe administration of all drugs
  • Pharmacists provide expert consultation for physicians, staff and patients
  • Sharing best practices for medication safety

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