Patient safety in the emergency department is a critical concern. Given emergency care’s fast-paced and often unpredictable nature, patients and their families can play an active role in enhancing safety.
Understanding how to participate actively in their health care can be crucial for individuals seeking care in emergency departments. This participation aids in receiving adequate treatment and significantly increases safety during a stressful and chaotic time.
Effective communication with health care providers
Clear and honest communication with medical staff is vital. Patients should provide accurate medical histories, including allergies, current medications and previous surgeries.
They should also feel empowered to ask questions about their diagnosis, treatment options and care plan. Health care providers must ensure the patient fully understands everything from diagnostic methods, treatments in the hospital and care instructions for after discharge.
Being aware of hygiene practices
Infection control is a crucial aspect of safety in any medical setting. Patients and their families should be sure all medical team members use proper hygiene practices. This includes hand washing or using hand sanitizer. This helps reduce the risk of infections.
Having a family member or advocate present
Having a family member, friend or advocate present can be beneficial. This person can assist in communication, remember information provided by medical staff and offer support throughout the emergency department visit.
Ultimately, the staff members have the duty to provide patients with care that meets applicable standards. When the standard of care isn’t met or exceeded, patients can suffer harm. That can lead to more medical care and costly bills. Those victims may opt to pursue a compensation claim to help cover those expenses. This must be done within the time limits set by Indiana law.