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Patient Safety

Patient safety information, including medication safety, details on restraints, fall prevention and infection prevention.

You play a vital role in making your health care safe by being an active, involved and informed member of your health care team.

Medication Safety

Make sure you learn about the medications you take and why you take them.

Restraints

Fall Prevention Program

At UVA, the safety of our patients is very important to us. We strive for positive experiences and outcomes, and this includes partnering with patients to reduce their risk of falling.

Patients feeling weak, taking certain medications and adjusting to a new place can be more likely to experience a fall. For this reason, we use a bright yellow wristband and sign to alert caregivers of special patient safety needs.

Getting up and moving around are important to your health. Together with your family and Care Partners, we can help you move around safely.

To prevent falls:

  • ƒƒAsk your caregivers about our Fall Prevention Program.
  • Let your nurse or doctor know if you have fallen recently or if you use a cane or a walker at home.
  • Follow our instructions for getting into and out of bed or a chair, walking around and using the bathroom.
  • Keep frequently used items within easy reach. If you cannot reach something, press the call button and a caregiver will be in to help you.
  • Sit up for a minute before standing or getting out of bed.
  • Ask your doctor or nurse for help if you feel weak or dizzy. Use a cane or walker if you need them.

Preventing falls at home and other home safety tips (PDF).

Preventing Infections

Infection prevention is very important. We use gloves, gowns, masks and/or eye protection based on your condition. Patients, visitors and staff must follow any instructions posted at your door.

  • Your visitors should come to the hospital only if they feel well.
  • Anyone coming in contact with you should wash or cleanse their hands. Hand cleaner/alcohol gel can be found outside the patient rooms and is routinely used by staff to cleanse hands.
  • If you cannot get out of bed to wash your hands, ask your nurse for hand cleaner.
  • Bathrooms in patient rooms are for patients only. Everyone else should use public restrooms. 

Ensuring Your Safe Care

There are many things you can do to be an informed, active participant in your health care and increase your health care safety:

  • Learn as much as possible about your illness and treatment options. Know what medications you take and why. Write down your questions and practice asking them.
  • Pay attention to and report your symptoms - pain, nausea, drowsiness, etc. - or if something just doesn’t “feel right."
  • Let your health care team know about all your medicines, including over the counter or herbals, allergies and situations in which you have had complications or reactions to medicines or treatments. Be sure they have any important health information about you.
  • Be sure health care providers correctly identify you by looking at your identification bracelet.
  • Ask health care providers to identify themselves and explain what they are doing.
  • Be sure all who have direct contact with you wash their hands.
  • Ask a family member or friend to be present when talking with your physician or others to help recall what was said, to take notes, or to ask questions.
  • Pay attention to the care you are receiving and make sure you are getting the right treatments and medications by the right health care providers. Always ask what the treatment or medicine is for and how it might help you. Speak up if you have questions or concerns.
  • Side rails are on the bed for your safety. Use the call button if you need help.
  • If you are leaving your room, let your nurse know. Wear shoes or safety skid slippers.
  • You are the center of your health care team. No question is insignificant. Ask about anything and everything you don’t understand.

For Family and Friends

Your family and friends play a significant role in your health and well being. If you’re sick, you need someone who can look out for your best interests and help navigate the healthcare system. Identify one person to be your spokesperson or advocate. Let your health care team know about this person. Your advocate is a partner in your care and can help us understand your specific needs and preferences, ensure your care needs are met after hospitalization and help you understand your options, treatments and plan of care. You can informally designate this person or legally designate this person.

Safety at Home

Home safety information, including a home safety checklist and information on personal emergency response devices.

Our Role in Your Safety

UVA employees keep patients safe by following: