University of South Alabama

Our Goal is Safety and You Play an Important Role!

At USA Medical Center, we pride ourselves in delivering the highest level of care. We are also dedicated to the highest level of patient safety.  You are the key member of the team and we encourage you to SPEAK UP about your health care!

Talk to Us!

If you have questions, concerns, or you don't understand, ask again.  It's your body and you have a right to know.  Your health is too important to worry about being embarrassed if you don't understand something.  Don't be afraid to ask about safety.  Tell your nurse or doctor if you think you're about to receive the wrong medication.  Don't hesitate to tell the health care professional if you think he or she has confused you with another patient.  Speak up if you have concerns!  Ask a relative or friend to be with you if this will help you ask questions and understand the answers.  Write down your questions as you think of them so you'll remember them when the health care professional comes to visit you.

Proper Identification 

Your identification bracelet is designed for your protection and for positive identification.  Please wear it until you leave USA Medical Center.  We will verify your bracelet information to assure your doctor's orders are followed correctly.  Whenever you receive any medication or blood, or are having other tests or procedures,  the health care professional should check your identification bracelet.  If they forget, please remind them to check it!

Information About Your Care

Because USA Medical Center is part of an academic health system, a team of physicians may see you.  Your attending physician, who has primary responsibility for your care, supervises your team of physicians.  The attending physician maintains the highest possible standards of care not only for your benefit, but also for the success of the teaching program.  If you have questions about your care or treatment, please ask.

Things YOU Can Do to Prevent Infection 

  • Clean Your Hands!  Wash with soap and water for at least 15 seconds, or you may use hand sanitizer.  Remember to wash your hands before touching or eating food, using the restroom or visiting with someone who is ill.  Also, encourage your visitors to wash their hands upon entering your room.
  • Make sure the health care professionals clean their hands or wear gloves if they are doing a procedure with you. Everyone who comes in your room should wash their hands. Don't be afraid to ask them!
  • When coughing, cover your mouth and nose with a tissue. If you don't have a tissue, cover your mouth with the bend of your elbow.
  • If your visitor is sick, ask them to stay home and away from you.
  • If you're on isolation due to infection, visitors should ask the nurse for guidance.

The staff at USA Medical Center is committed to preventing infections and providing a clean environment.

Surgery Preparation

We take many safety precautions to assure your surgery goes as planned.  Before surgery, you'll be asked to sign a consent reviewing the type of surgery, the risks of surgery discussed by your physician, and permission for anesthesia.  Make sure everything on the consent is correct.  In the pre-operative area, a health care professional will mark the site of your surgery and check your identification bracelet.  This usually occurs when you are awake and you'll be asked to participate.  The team will perform a "time out" several times to make sure the right surgery is done on the right part of the right person.

Know Your Medications

Your health care team needs to know all the medications you've been taking prior to coming to USA Medical Center.  If you don't remember the names and dosage of your medications, ask a family member or friend to bring them to the hospital so your nurse can tell your doctor.  This is necessary because some medications don't need to be stopped suddenly and some medications may interact with new medications prescribed.

Don't take medications the staff isn't aware of, and if you have a special medication you were taking at home, let your doctor know in order to work it into your treatment plan. Remember, you are the key member of the team and you need to know what medicine you take and why you take it.

Don't be afraid to SPEAK UP.  If you don't recognize a medicine, ask your nurse to make sure it's for you.  If you receive an IV, ask your nurse how long it should take for the liquid to run. If you think it's running too fast or slow, ask your nurse to check it.  When receiving new medication, ask what it's for and any side effects.  If you're too sick, your advocate can ask these questions for you.  When you leave USA Medical Center, you'll receive an updated list of current medications you're taking.  Keep this with you and take it to doctor appointments.

Pain?  We Want to Know!

Your doctors and nurses need to understand your pain.  Pain changes over time or pain medicine may not be working, and it's important you tell us.  Nurses will ask you to evaluate your pain on a 1-10 scale, which enables them to help control your pain.  Be honest and work with your nurse and physician to have the best pain control.  There are other ways you can help your medication work better, such as turning off your room lights, taking deep, relaxing breaths, and focusing on something other than your pain.  Ask your nurse to help change your position in bed and possibly use pillows for better positioning.  Remember, you're in control and we want you to be comfortable.  Be sure to refer to our Pain Control booklet you received.

Fall Prevention

Our slogan is, "Don't Fall, Just Call!"  If you feel weak or need assistance, please let us help you get out of bed or a wheelchair.  Our nursing staff will see if you need to go on our fall program, which will assure you our staff is frequently checking on you.  If a star is on your door, this alerts your health care team that you need assistance.  We're here for you.

We Value Your Feedback

We're interested in knowing your opinion of the care you received and that your stay at USA Medical Center has been as comfortable as possible.  Following your discharge, you'll be asked to take a telephone survey.  We'd appreciate you taking a few minutes to answer our questions and help us improve our services.  A patient survey will also be mailed to your home following discharge.  But don't wait for the survey to tell us about a concern.  Please let us know immediately!

We're Here For You!

If you or your family have any questions or concerns about the quality of your care or our services, we encourage you to call the Patient Relations Coordinator at (251) 471-7127, Monday-Friday, 8 a.m.-4:30 p.m.  If you need assistance after hours or on the weekend, please leave a message.  If your concern requires immediate attention, please dial (251) 471-7000 and ask our operator to contact the nursing supervisor for you.  You are the most important member of the team and we encourage you to SPEAK UP for anything you need!

Thank you for selecting USA Medical Center.  We hope we have shown you in many ways how happy we are to be of service to you and your family.

 

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