Patient Safety at Otsego Memorial Hospital


Keeping Our Patients Safe

We have implemented many safeguards to ensure you have a safe and secure hospital stay. Below are some of the safety steps we take and how you can be involved in your own safety.

Patient Identification  

Patient identification is important­— it’s how we make sure you receive the medical care ordered for you. We will check at least two of the following three patient identifiers and your identification arm band prior to any treatment, test, procedure, or medication administration.

  • Your name
  • Your date of birth
  • Your medical record number

Be involved. If your identification is not verified, ask that staff member to check your identification before taking any medication or having any test, treatment, or procedure.

Keep your arm band on throughout your hospital stay. If it falls off, notify your nurse immediately. For patients who are unable to speak, a family member or accompanying individual should participate in the identification process.

Medication Safety  

To ensure your safety, be involved and informed about the medications you take during your hospital stay, as well as at home. Medications can help us feel better and get well. But, if taken incorrectly or mixed with the wrong food or supplements, they can be dangerous.

Keep a list of your home medications, including vitamin supplements, herbal supplements, and over-the-counter items. Show this list to the nurse at the time of your admission. Share this list with your physicians at each doctor visit, with your pharmacist, and when you register for any treatments, tests, or procedures.

It is important for your physicians and nurses to be aware of any drug allergies or adverse reactions you’ve experienced with certain medications.

All medications that you take during your hospital stay will be prescribed by your doctor and dispensed through the hospital pharmacy. Do not take any medications from home while you are in the hospital,

Ask questions about your medications, correct dosages, the purpose of any medication, and possible side effects. Follow through with your physician’s treatment plan and instructions.

If you experience any kind of negative reaction to a medication, talk to your nurse or pharmacist. Be sure to provide this information to your health care providers in the future.

Marking the Surgical Site   

To ensure your safety, you and your medical provider together will mark the correct surgery or procedure site. Your provider will write his/her initials on the area where the procedure is to take place. If you are not able to participate in the marking process, the surgeon will confirm the site prior to anesthesia. Before your procedure, please feel free to ask questions or raise any concerns.

Preventing Falls    

When you are hospitalized, you may be weaker than you expect because of your illness, medications, or a surgical procedure. To prevent a fall, it is important to:

  • Call for help any time you need to get out of bed, even if you think it is not necessary.
  • Tell staff about any safety devices you use at home to get around.
  • Wear non-slip shoes/slippers when walking.
  • Wear your glasses or contacts in the hospital as you would at home.
  • Notify staff if there is a spill to avoid a slip/fall.
  • Do not detach or reconnect tubing catheters; ask your nurse to help you.
  • If something you need is out of reach, ask your nurse to get it for you.

Hand Hygiene

One of the fastest ways people spread germs and infections is through the hands. The hospital has implemented the following hand washing guidelines designed for everyone’s safety:

  • Wash your hands often and thoroughly.
  • Ask your visitors to use hand sanitizer when they arrive and when they leave. A hand sanitizer dispenser is located in or near your room.
  • If you don’t see your caregivers washing their hands or using the hand sanitizer, “speak up” and feel free to remind them to do so.

Special Infection Precautions    

Some patients require additional precautions to protect themselves, staff, and visitors from infection or communicable disease. This may require staff and visitors to wear a gown, mask, and gloves. Special instructions posted on the door of the patient’s room must be followed.

Cover Your Cough or Sneeze

Serious respiratory illnesses such as influenza, respiratory syncytial virus (RSV), whooping cough, and severe acute respiratory syndrome (SARS) are spread by coughing or sneezing and unclean hands.

To prevent the spread of infection:

  • Cover your mouth and nose with a tissue when you cough or sneeze.
  • If you don’t have a tissue, cough or sneeze into your upper sleeve, not your hands.
  • Put your used tissue in a waste basket.
  • Wash your hands after coughing or sneezing with soap and water or use an alcohol-based hand sanitizer.

Note: If you are coughing and sneezing, you may be asked to put on a surgical mask to protect others.

Ask Questions

You are an important member of your health care team. Be involved. If you have any questions or concerns, talk to your doctor or nurse. We want to know if you are experiencing any pain or discomfort, or if something isn’t right with your medications, diet, or overall care. The staff can verify that you are getting the right treatment or make the necessary changes. No question is too trivial when it comes to your health care, so please ask.

Your doctor will inform you if any unanticipated outcomes occur. You have the right to know about your health and medical care. We will work with you to resolve any issues you bring to our attention.

Rapid Response Team: When to Call for Help

Family members may be the first ones to notice a change in a patient’s condition. If you think the patient’s condition is getting worse:

  • Notify the nursing staff.
  • If after speaking with a nurse, you continue to have serious concerns, ask to have the Rapid Response Team contacted or activate the team by dialing “0” and asking for the Rapid Response Team. The Rapid Response Team will be paged overhead and will arrive in the patient’s room to assess the situation. Additional clinical support will be called in as needed.

If you have any questions, please discuss them with one of our health care providers.