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Patient safety

When you or your family member is a patient at Lake Region Healthcare Corporation, you want to be sure you receive the best and safest care possible. Our hospital and healthcare professionals are committed to providing the best care for you and your family. We ask you to join us to ensure our care meets your needs, and we encourage you to let us know when it does not.

Medication safety

Ask your doctor and pharmacist about the medicine

What are the name, benefits and possible side effects or reactions with other medications or food/beverages?

What is it?
Make sure you know the name and color of the medicine. Take medicine in well-lit areas.

What is it for?
Make sure you know why the medicine is being taken.

How do I take it?
Ask the doctor or pharmacist to explain how to take the medicine and how often it should be taken.

What should I look for?
Ask what the results should be and what possible reactions are.

Double-check your prescription

Before you leave the pharmacy, check your medicine to make sure it was prepared for you. Speak up before you leave, because pharmacies typically do not take back medicine once it has been purchased.

Discuss previous allergies or reactions

Make sure the doctors, nurses and pharmacists know about any allergies or reactions to drugs you or your family members might have.

Brown-bag it

Bring the medicines or a list to every appointment. Include over-the-counter, herbal or dietary drugs. Throw away old medicines.

When at the hospital or clinic

Have someone with you

Bring a family member or friend who knows your medical history and who can also ask questions. This can help to ensure the best care possible. Family members often provide the comfort and support needed to promote your return to good health.

Be active and speak up

Share medical information.
Write down and carry important medical information with you. Keep a list of medical history, office visits and medication use. Medical information should include allergies and the names, addresses and phone numbers of important healthcare providers.

Make sure you understand the plan of treatment.
Ask the nurse or doctor to explain any test results and the plan of treatment. If anything is not clear, speak up and ask questions.

Make sure you know what medicines should be taken.
Make sure you know what has been ordered for your care. Ask questions if the medicines look different from before.

Wash hands.
Patients, family members and caregivers should wash hands frequently to prevent the spread of infection.

Know who is in charge of care.
Make sure that someone, such as your personal doctor, is in charge of the care for you or your family member. This is especially important in a hospital or in case of a complex illness. Ask if your primary physician will be at the hospital.

Take notes.
Write down any questions about your condition, treatment, clinic visit or hospital stay. Take notes about what you learn from your caregiver. At the end of your visit to the clinic or hospital, ask for information in writing, including information about medicines, follow-up care and your treatment plan.

Learn as much as you can

It is up to you to learn as much as you can about your care and treatment. The most important way you can help to prevent medical errors is to be an active and informed member of the healthcare team. This means taking part in every healthcare decision.

Prepare for surgery

Ask questions

Before surgery, talk to the physician and nurse about any concerns.

Talk about the procedure

Make sure that you, the doctor and surgeon all agree and are clear on exactly what is going to be done.

Mark the area

Make sure the body area to be operated on is clearly marked.

Safety highlights

We are dedicated to sharing information about quality and safety with you and your family through efforts such as voluntary participation in the Leapfrog Group survey. Leapfrog is a coalition of more than 100 public and private organizations that share our commitment to provide the safest healthcare possible. We commend the Leapfrog Group for recognizing that quality of care is not just based on cost. However, we realize that its standards are not applicable to all hospitals.

To make your healthcare visit safe we have many steps in place that go beyond Leapfrog's standards. Your safety is central to every aspect of our hospital. It is the top priority at all levels of our organization, including management, physicians and staff. The following are a few of the steps our hospital is taking to ensure you receive reliable care:

  • We have a patient safety committee in place to evaluate any safety concern brought up by staff, patients or family members. The committee reviews each safety aspect and develops steps to make our hospital a safe place for your care.
  • All physicians and nurses at our hospital are board-certified and participate in continuing education.
  • For medication safety, we double-check to make sure you receive the right medication, the right dose and the right method at the right time. We encourage you to speak up if you have any questions about your medication.
  • We recommend that you have a family member or friend with you during your healthcare visits. He or she can provide comfort and support and can also help ask questions. We encourage you to ask questions and take notes.

Our hospital participates in statewide safety and quality activities:

  • We participate in the Minnesota Hospital Association's Patient Safety Registry. This allows us to share safety resources and knowledge with hospitals across the state.
  • The Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Service ranked Minnesota fourth in the nation for providing high-quality care to Medicare patients.
  • We actively participate in VHA quality improvement initiatives.