Safety Check Points
Our staff at Littleton Adventist Hospital adheres to national safety standards such as those recommended by the Joint Commission. We have several safety check points in place to help ensure that your care is the safest that we can provide.
As part of our security and safety standards, our staff will be checking and rechecking your identification wristband to verify that you are receiving the proper tests and treatments. They may also repeatedly ask your name and birthdate. These checks will be done before you receive a medication, before your blood is drawn for a lab test, and when you receive any special treatments or procedures. You can be an active participant in this by making sure you understand what medications you are being given and what tests or procedures you are to be receiving.
Hand washing, using foam sanitizer and donning gloves are some of the most basic practices we use to help reduce the risk of infection and keep you safe. Good hand hygiene is one of the best ways to stop germs from being passed along on surfaces and to other people. All physicians, nurses and other healthcare workers should be washing their hands or using foam sanitizer before and after providing care to you. Sometimes you will not actually see them doing this, as the sink or foam sanitizer is not within your view. But, if you are in doubt, ask them if they have "washed their hands." You can help, too, by asking those who visit you to use the foam sanitizer in your room before touching anything.
Safety Check Points for Surgery
Several special safety features are in place if you are going to have surgery. Before you go to the operating room, the pre-operative nurses will check to make sure that all the necessary tests have been completed and assessments have been done so that you are completely ready for surgery. You may find that the exact location of your surgery is marked on your body with an indelible marker. This is done in all cases where there is a chance that there could be confusion regarding the site of the surgery to be performed (such as right knee vs. left knee). This marking will be visible to all members of the surgical team at the start of surgery to verify that the procedure is being performed at the correct site. The mark will wear-off after a few washings.
Just before your surgery begins, the surgical team will conduct a "time-out." The team pauses to verify the procedure, the patient and the surgical site. Also, during this time they check to make sure that any special instruments or equipment needed for the surgery are present. This is much like the pre-flight check that air pilots perform just before taking off. Since the time-out may be done after you have started receiving anesthesia, you may not be aware of it.
The surgical team will make sure to give you an antibiotic just before surgery begins. This is intended to help prevent a surgical infection after your procedure. You may also receive some additional doses of the antibiotic after surgery to continue to protect you from an infection.
After surgery you may notice that you are wearing some inflatable leg wraps. The purpose of these is to keep strong circulation in your legs to help prevent any blood clots from forming. A blood clot is a serious complication that you want to avoid.
Communication Among Care Team Members
We do our best to ensure that all important information about your care is properly conveyed to each of your healthcare team members. That is why we have created processes to hand-off pertinent information about each patient. For example, nurses have an uninterrupted time and a standardized format to communicate information about your care to the next shift. A special form is completed when you go for an X-ray, CT scan or MRI so that the technician is aware of any special needs that you may have. Our computer system allows our physicians and to efficiently look-up current test results and other valuable information needed to treat you. We try to work as a cohesive team to ensure that your care is well-coordinated.