Are you aware of your patient safety?

When it comes to health care, patient safety is of utmost importance. This week is Patient Safety Awareness week, and we’d like to help you understand how you can better advocate for your own health care to ensure your safety.

Patient safety is an important component to everything we do at Laser Spine Institute. It’s the basis for how we interact with our patients and depicts what kind of experience they have with us.

“Patient safety means that we strive to protect each patient, whether it be their medical information or their actual health and well-being,” said Nicole Campbell, Hospitality Associate at Laser Spine Institute Houston. “We must maintain a well-organized and sanitized workstation so that we can ensure patients remain healthy. We also must work to ensure minimal errors occur on patients’ medical records to keep them safe.”

At Laser Spine Institute, patient safety extends beyond purely medical information. It touches the emotional aspect of health care. Vivian Page, a Registered Nurse at Laser Spine Institute who specializes in anesthesia, is acutely aware of the importance of patient safety.

“I sit down, look them in the eye, and try to put myself in their shoes. I introduce myself; tell them they have chosen the world’s finest institution for spine care. I reassure them they are in good hands,” said Vivian Page, a Registered Nurse at Laser Spine Institute Tampa. “I speak to them about their journey of pain and how it happened, whether it was an accident or something else.  I talk to them in a positive way about how they are going to get their life back.”

Health care safety starts with you, the patient. Here are some ways that you can advocate for your own health and safety:

Ask questions. When it comes to your health care, never be afraid to ask questions. A good physician will be more than happy to answer your questions or give you an honest opinion.

Watch your meds. If you’re about to have a procedure, make sure you check with your physician to ensure that you’re able to continue taking your medications. Some medications may prevent you from having your procedure.

Read your forms. Make sure that you read over all of the forms your physician asks you to sign. Ensure that you thoroughly read about preoperative and postoperative care requirements. This will help you achieve a healthy recovery.

Track your records. Keep track of your own medical records. It’s true that your physician tracks your records, but if you change doctors or visit a specialist, you will need to have your own records. This will also help to lessen mistakes or wrong diagnoses.

Be honest. The best thing you can do when meeting with a physician is to be honest. Don’t try to cover up or hide a condition or medication. Being transparent with your physician will help to cut down on medical complications.

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