Patient Health and Safety
To support a healthier lifestyle and environment for patient healing, NHRMC is a tobacco-free facility. The use of tobacco products and electronic cigarettes is banned in all buildings and on all property. The policy applies to everyone on our campuses and includes all buildings, sidewalks, parking lots and personal vehicles parked on property leased or owned by NHRMC.
Patients who insist on using tobacco will be required to check out of the hospital "AMA" (Against Medical Advice). Upon returning, those patients must then be re-admitted through NHRMC's standard admission process. Patients who use tobacco are urged to speak with their physician or nurse about nicotine replacement therapy. Nicotine is the psychoactive drug in tobacco products that produces dependence. Most smokers are dependent on nicotine. Smokeless tobacco use can also lead to nicotine dependence.
Please do not keep valuables such as jewelry, watches, cash money, checkbooks or credit cards with you in the hospital. If at all possible, please send your valuables and personal belongings home. If you are unable to send them home, please tell the staff. The hospital will make arrangements to have your valuables secured by the hospital's police. The hospital will not assume liability for damage or loss to valuables that are not secured by the hospital's police.
Please keep personal aids such as dentures, eyeglasses and hearing aids in a safe place when you are not using them. It is recommended you do not place any of these items on your meal tray.
It is prohibited to possess and/or carry any weapons onto the hospital's property.The possession and/or use of illegal substances or alcohol is prohibited.If there are circumstances in which you feel you need to have extra security precautions taken when you are in the hospital, please let your nurse know and request he/she to contact the hospital's police so you can discuss the situation with them.If you have any questions or concerns regarding safety, please call the Safety Line at 343-4535.
It is important to make sure all electrical devices that are used in the hospital meet safety standards.Personal electrical items that are not to be used in the hospital include: clothes irons, coffee pots, electric blankets, fans, hot plates, tea pots, space heaters, personal televisions, electric toys and friction type toys.Personal hygiene devices such as electric shavers and blow dryers are allowed. However, none of these devices is to be used in the critical care units without permission from the charge nurse. Please make sure these devices are in good condition.
Because violence is so common in people's lives and because there is help available for individuals being abused, we now ask every person about domestic violence. Please be assured that whatever you say will be kept confidential, though we are required by law to report incidents that involve weapons or grave bodily illness or harm. If you are abused, or have been in the past, we would like to give you a chance to talk about it.
HIV (AIDS) Testing
Because of the nature of the work done in the health care setting, employees may be exposed to blood and body fluid. North Carolina law states that we must inform the patient if an employee has been exposed to a patient's blood or body fluid, such as through an accidental needle stick. If this occurs, the patient's blood will be tested for HIV, Hepatitis B and Hepatitis C. This is necessary to treat the injured employee appropriately and quickly. The patient's doctor will also be notified of this incident. Testing will be at no cost to the patient. Those test results will be kept confidential in Employee Health Services and a copy will also be sent to the patient's doctor. He or she will inform that patient of the test results when received. A representative from the hospital will contact the patient to answer any questions.
NHRMC allows the use of cellular telephones in all areas except critical care areas where there is equipment that could be affected by electromagnetic interference. Critical care areas include the intensive care units, step-down units, Emergency Department, Operating Rooms, Catheterization and Electrophysiology Labs, Radiology and Post-Anesthesia Care Unit.
Patient safety is of the utmost importance at NHRMC. Although medical care comes with inherent risks, NHRMC takes great care to ensure these risks are minimized by using specific patient safety protocols and guidelines.
In addition, we encourage every patient to be his/her own healthcare advocate by complying with these protocols and guidelines and engaging in open communication with his/her healthcare team, including:
- Providing your healthcare team with as much information as possible about your health, past and present
- Acknowledging you understand your diagnosis and treatment plan, and know what to expect
- Communicating to your healthcare team any changes in your condition, good or bad, such as an allergic reaction to a drug
- Speaking up when you have a question about any aspect of your care
- Inquiring about laboratory and other diagnostic test results
- Ensuring your doctor, nurse and pharmacist know about all the medications you take, including both prescription and non-prescription drugs and medications
- Recording in advance any questions you might have about your condition for future visits and check-ups with your healthcare team
To help promote patient safety, we urge patients to become involved in their care and "Speak Up."
S peak up if you have questions or concerns, and if you don't understand, ask again.
P ay attention to the care you are receiving.
E ducate yourself about your diagnosis, medications, tests and the treatments you are undergoing.
A sk a trusted family member or friend to be your advocate.
K now what medications you take and why you take them.
U se a healthcare organization that has undergone a rigorous on-site evaluation against established state-of-the-art quality and safety standards.
P articipate in all decisions about your treatment. You are the center of your healthcare team.
A staff member from Safety Services is always available to answer questions at New Hanover Regional Medical Center and Cape Fear Hospital. If you have any questions or concerns regarding safety, you are welcome to call the Safety Line at 343-4535.