Patient safety is very important to those who work at T.J. Samson Community Hospital.

The care of the patients is something that is seen to by every single person who works at the hospital, whether it be in the business office, registration, housekeeping, maintenance, nursing, physical therapy or occupational therapy, Carolyn Bow, director of the hospital’s patient safety program, said.

“Everybody is responsible for the care of the patient,” she said.

The hospital’s mission has always been to promote and provide for the health and well-being of those it serves, Sherry Tabor, hospital spokesperson, said.

“Over the years, the Joint Commission Accreditation of Healthcare Organizations developed a national patient safety health goals in an effort to standardize safe, continuous care in a healthcare setting,” she said.

Medication management is one area the hospital has been working on to ensure patient safety. It involves checking to see what medication the patient was taking prior to admission and working with the physician and patient’s family throughout the hospital stay to make sure that when the patient returns home they have the correct medications, Bow said.

Fall prevention is another area.

Hospital personnel question patients when they are being admitted about whether or not they have fallen at home, regardless of what treatment the patient has come to the hospital to receive.

“A patient may have a history of falls at home. They may have involuntary balance and unsteady gate, and that’s very important information for the caregiver to know because their case has been tailored individually to information the patient provides,” Bow said.

Another area is patient identification.

Double-checking the patient’s wristband, and calling their name as hospital personnel enter the patient’s room ensures that the right patient is receiving the correct medication and proper care, she said.

Sometimes it is difficult for the general public to understand why hospital personnel do such things, Bow said.

“When we’re asking questions in assessing the patient, even though some of those questions may seem (unnecessary), there are reasons behind them,” Tabor said.

The hospital was recently surveyed by the Joint Commission Accreditation of Healthcare Organizations.

“During this cycle for the accreditation, the focus on the survey will be done using a tracer methodology which in essence follows the process of a patient's admission through discharge. During this review all aspects of care are evaluated, which include patient safety initiatives,” she said.

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