We know that patients are often anxious about staying in the hospital, and although we realize you are eager to get back home, we want you to feel well cared for while with us. In order to make your stay as comfortable and stress-free as possible, New Hanover Regional Medical Center maintains its commitment to quality and patient safety. Our goal is to have every patient feeling his/her best so he/she can return to his/her daily routine.
Each patient's safety is of the utmost importance to us at NHRMC. Although medical care comes with inherent risks, NHRMC takes great care to ensure that these risks are minimized using specific protocols and following precise guidelines to ensure safe care of every patient who comes through our doors. While we focus on these critical issues, you can relax and focus on getting better.
NHRMC's proven initiatives aimed at ensuring safety and quality include basic safety protocols to put your mind at ease. NHRMC uses at least two identifiers at all times - name and date of birth - so all critical identification information for each and every patient is accurate. This clear and unique information helps improve the accuracy of patient identification so essential treatments and medications can be properly administered.
Proper dosing and dispensing of medication is a key area on your road to recovery. All medications are labeled with pertinent information, readily available during the course of your treatment. In addition, many areas in our hospital use barcode technology as a means of double checking the administration of patient medications. A handheld scanner is used to scan both the medication and a patient's wristband to confirm electronically the right medication and dosage is given to the right patient at the right time. NHRMC also encourages our patients to carry a current list of their medications to share with their caregivers any time they arrive for treatment to ensure proper administration.
Open Lines of Communication
NHRMC wants you to know your needs are important to us. We believe in open communication as a means of promoting safety and healing. Hourly rounding means that a member of your clinical care team is checking in every hour to be certain that your needs are being fully met. Even after your nurse has left the room, we want you to know he or she can be easily reached should you need them in between rounds or other care visits. Newly renovated patient rooms have call bells that connect directly to the nurse's cell phone, rather than being transferred to a central station.
In order to provide the highest level of care, thorough communication is maintained among all members of your caregiving team, including communication of critical tests results within a certain time period so your needs can be addressed quickly and efficiently. The use of written as well as verbal instructions for each and every patient upon transport ensures all team members are updated on your condition before you move to different areas in the hospital. All team members are involved in regular discussion of each patient's care so everyone has access to the correct and most up-to-date patient information. The use of standard medical abbreviations helps eliminate risk of confusion.
A clear and standardized system of color-coded alert wristbands helps identify your specific needs, risk factors and status to provide very obvious visual information to all members of your care team.
In the unlikely event or need of emergency care due to a change in condition, our Rapid Response team is in place to intervene. If signs of deterioration are noticed in a patient, this team of clinicians with critical care experience arrives at the bedside to assess and stabilize the patient, assist with communication and offer support to other care providers.
Condition "H" (for help)
We also realize that patients and their families are crucial members of the care team, so we have empowered them to have an active voice in their care, especially if something seems wrong. Since you know your loved one the best, our Condition "H" process allows you and your families to request urgent help if you notice a sudden clinical change in his/her condition. Similar to the Rapid Response, this call will activate a team to the bedside to quickly evaluate and take actions as appropriate.
NHRMC wants to prevent falls while your loved one is in our care. A critical component in this goal is patient and family education and participation. It is crucial to also be aware of risks in order to prevent accidental falls. To this end, NHRMC uses yellow as its standard color for fall alerts. Yellow socks, stars and wristbands help identify patients clearly as at risk for falls.
As a national initiative to encourage patient participation in their own care, the Joint Commission has outlined the SPEAK UP procedure. This helpful tool can be found on the Joint Commission's Web site.
We are aware of the importance of eliminating infections as a component of high-quality and safe healthcare. One of the simplest and most effective steps you can take to prevent the spread of infection, is to wash your hands properly. Gel stations are available throughout the hospital and in individual patient rooms and information on handwashing is made readily available. NHRMC encourages all patients to ask questions about helping to prevent the spread of infections.
Universal Correct Site, Correct Procedure Protocols
There are many precautions in place at NHRMC to ensure the proper care and safety of each and every patient. Among the guidelines in place are a full verification process before any procedure. The site of surgery will be marked and just before the actual procedure is performed, your medical team will call a "time-out" to do a final check to make sure everything is in order.
Additional Resources for Quality Information
We encourage you to be an informed and involved patient. If you are interested in finding out more information about quality, visit these trusted sources: Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), Agency for Healthcare Research and Quality (AHRQ), The Joint Commission and Hospital Compare.