What are you doing to keep me safe during my stay?
UAB Hospital is committed to fulfilling the national patient safety goals set annually by the Joint Commission, an influential nonprofit agency that accredits health care organizations. These goals include such things as improved compliance with hand-washing guidelines, patient fall-prevention strategies, and medication safety measures:
- Infection Prevention
- Preventing Medication Errors
- Preventing Injury
- Promoting a Culture of Safety
Our Infection Prevention and Control program works to make patient care as safe as possible for patients, visitors, and staff. Hand washing or using a disinfecting hand rub between patients is very important. We watch to see that this is being done and keep track of our use of soaps and rubs through the Partners In Your Care program. Covering a cough or sneeze is also important. We teach this and provide masks and tissues to get it done.
We work with the surgical care teams to see that all the best practices are followed in getting patients ready for surgery, taking care of them in the operating rooms, and helping them recover afterwards. We are part of the national Surgical Care Improvement Project. We have participated in the CDC’s National Healthcare Safety Network for several decades.
We are actively involved with the critical care teams to see that mechanical ventilation and other services needed during intensive care are provided with the least risk of infection.
We carefully check the health of our staff to ensure that they are not at work when they are ill with serious infections and are protected against diseases such as hepatitis and influenza.
BY PREVENTING MEDICATION ERRORS
Computerized Provider Order Entry: UAB Hospital has a computerized system for ordering medications. This system decreases the risks of transcription errors and other problems associated with handwritten orders, and it’s been painstakingly programmed to prevent drug interactions and dosage errors.
UAB maintains a complete and up-to-date list of patients’ medications in their electronic medical records so that any UAB Medicine health-care provider can access the list when needed. This reduces the likelihood that a patient, who may not remember to tell a provider about all their medicines, would be inadvertently prescribed drugs that may react poorly together.
BY PREVENTING INJURY
UAB has an active Falls team whose purpose is to determine ways to reduce falls and their severity at UAB Hospital. This is achieved by reviewing data, reviewing an revising standards of care, leading unit process improvement initiatives, and evaluating new fall prevention tools
BY PROMOTING A CULTURE OF SAFETY
Error Reporting: A hospital-wide electronic reporting system helps reduce human errors by alerting providers to possible safety concerns related to a patient’s care. The provider can then re-evaluate the patient or intervene on the patient’s treatment protocol, which in some cases could prevent a medical error.
Computerized medical record system– to give providers at-the-bedside electronic access to information about a patient's condition, medications and treatment plan
As a member of the University Healthcare Consortium, UAB is one of about 100 academic medical centers in the nation reporting statistics related to patient care. As a result, the medical center is able to quickly target areas or processes that could be improved to ensure all patients receive the best possible care and experience at every visit
Rapid Response Team: A Medical Emergency Team (MET), consisting of two specially trained nurses and a doctor, is prepared to provide a rapid response at a moment’s notice, bringing expertise and assistance to nurses when their patients experience a sudden change in condition or a life-threatening situation. The MET provides support to patient and non-patient care areas 24/7 with physician and nursing support.
How do you keep my family member safe when I’m not there?
Patients at UAB receive around the clock monitoring and care. The Medical Emergency Team (MET) brings critical care to the bedside in the event an urgent, life-threatening situation arises in a non-critical care area of the hospital. The team consists of a physician and two registered nurses specially trained in providing urgent critical care to patients in need. The team can initiate resuscitation efforts and stabilize the situation with the goal of preventing a patient from developing full cardiac arrest. The MET will respond to standard hospital units if monitored vital signs or a nurse’s observation indicates an acute change in a patient’s condition.