Safety is a Top Priority

What Every Patient Should Know

Patient safety is always a priority at Lifespan hospitals. Below are some tips that will help patients, visitors and families have a safe, healthy visit.

For Patients

A hospital stay can be a disorienting event. There's a strange bed, strange people, nurses and doctors in and out, and on top of that, a patient is supposed to remember medications, doses, allergies and symptoms.

Before checking into a hospital for an extended stay or an outpatient procedure, here are some tips to make the experience a little bit easier.

  • Bring all medications in original bottles.
  • Make a list of all medications, dosages and who prescribed them.
    • A printer-friendly medication form is available to download, fill out and bring in to show what has already been prescribed. Download it here.
    • Note all non-prescription medications (over-the-counter products), vitamins/supplements, herbal remedies, creams and balms.
  • Bring a list of all your allergies.
  • Bring a list of all the surgeries you've had and the approximate dates you've had them.
  • Bring ID, Social Security card, health insurance card, Medicaid or Medicare card (if applicable).
  • Bring a spouse's, or other emergency contact's, home and work numbers.
  • Make sure the hospital has the name of your primary care physician and your favorite pharmacy's phone number.
  • Know the name of the physician who referred you to the hospital (if applicable).

Questions to Ask

  • Will I be staying and for how long?
  • What are the names of the doctors and nurses I will be seeing?
  • What medications will I be given? What are the risks and benefits of each?
  • Will the hospital send a report to me personal physician?
  • What should I do after I leave the hospital?
  • What are the checkout procedures?

For Visitors and Families

In a hospital, patient care comes first and visitors must be mindful not to impede the care of loved ones or their neighbors. Below are some things to remember when visiting a hospital.

Respect Other Patients in a Hospital

  • Use polite language and keep voices at a conversational level.
  • Dress appropriately.
  • Do not use phones, video games, radios, or anything that could wake up a sleeping patient.
  • Do not bring in candles, incense, diffusers, room spray, or anything that could produce smells or smoke.
  • Stay out of the way of hospital personnel.
  • Follow visiting hour rules. Intensive care unit and other specialty areas may have different hours.

If the Patient You're Visiting is Sharing a Room with Another Patient

  • Keep voices low.
  • If the other patient is sleeping, please respect their recovery. Whisper or take conversations outside of the room.
  • Keep the television at a quiet volume.
  • Do not discuss medical conditions or other private matters.
  • Do not touch equipment or move curtains unless directed by a nurse.
  • Keep groups small; schedule different times of the day if a large group of people would like to visit. Two to four people should be the maximum number of people visiting at once.

Help to Keep Patients Safe

  • If you feel sick, have a cough or fever, please do not visit the hospital.
  • To prevent the spread of germs, wash hands or use hand sanitizer when entering and when leaving the room. Hand sanitizer dispensers are located in every patient's room and in the hospital corridors.
  • Ask a nurse to help move a patient if they are uncomfortable or need help.
  • Do not bring food to a patient without first checking with a nurse.
  • Never give a patient medications (over-the-counter or otherwise). If you have a question about medications, please ask a nurse.
  • Do not leave valuables with patients.
  • Don't rearrange furniture or move or adjust equipment.

Visiting a patient can be an important part of their recovery. Please help keep it a satisfying experience for all patients at the hospital. Refer to a nurse for any other questions or concerns.