Patient Safety

Patient Safety is Everyone's Responsibility

GASHA's physicians, staff and volunteers use their knowledge and skills to practice safe patient care to provide the best treatment possible. It is everyone's responsibility within GASHA to promote ways to reduce or eliminate harm that could affect patients who come to us for care. Because we are all human, mistakes are always possible. Patients and families are an essential part of the healthcare team and play an important role in ensuring their care is safe.

GASHA has a Quality and Patient Safety Framework to guide development and reporting of quality performance.

For more information: 902-867-4500 extension

Patient Safety Tips and Questions

It is important that you know and understand about the care you receive while you are in the hospital. Having good two-way communication is important to a safe and successful hospital visit. Your health in important to us and we are here to ensure you are comfortable and get the best care possible.

View Patient Safety Tips to keep in mind before, during and after your hospital stay:

Falls Prevention & Bedside Help

When you are ill or admitted to the hospital for a procedure you are entering a strange environment and are more likely to be off balance and fall. A fall can threaten your health and well-being and could lead to possible injury.

The Star Program

All patients are assessed for risk of falling when they come to the hospital at the beginning of their stay. GASHA has developed the Star Program for those at risk patients. Those who are at a greater risk for falling have a Red Star placed above their bed so that the hospital staff are aware and can provide assistance when getting in and out of bed.

Ways to Reduce Falls

There are ways to reduce your risk of falling while in the hospital including tips on the importance of paying attention to your environment.

Infection Prevention & Control

Good hand washing is the best way to stop the spread of infection. Washing your hands with soap and water for 15-20 seconds or using hand sanitizer gel if hands are visibly clean will work. Remember to wash your hands often and it's okay to remind visitors and health care providers to wash their hands.

Reminders:

  • It is okay to ask any team member if they have washed their hands before any "hands on" care. If you are uncomfortable with this you might say "excuse me, but I don't recall seeing you wash your hands before you came into my room"
  • Be sure to ask all visitors to clean their hands with soap and water or hand sanitizer.
  • Sometimes patients need extra special protection to prevent the spread of infection. Your room will have a special sign on it if this is the case. Please follow their instructions or ask the nurse if you need help.
  • Ask your doctor if you should receive any vaccines to prevent infections such as the flu or pneumonia.
  • Tell your nurse and doctor if you have any redness, soreness or discharge from a wound, incision, catheter or intravenous site.
  • Ask if any skin preparation or hair removal is needed before surgery. Any hair removal that is needed should be done with clippers not a razor as shaving the area can damage the skin and cause infection.
  • Four Moments [PDF]
  • Patient and Family Hand Hygiene Guide [PDF]

Hand Hygiene Audits

GASHA believes that proper hand hygiene plays an important role in the prevention and recovery of disease, illness and injury as well as helping protect patients from the spread of health care disease associated with infections.

All GASHA facilities do regular audits, or inspections, to measure the organizations overall compliance rate with proper hand hygiene procedures. A compliance rate is determined be the rate at which someone follows advice or instruction. The compliance rate for hand washing is found by dividing the number of times hand hygiene was performed by the number of observed opportunities there were for hand washing and then dividing that result by 100. GASHA strives for a 100% compliance rate in all of their hospitals and health centres.

GASHA has a trained hand hygiene auditor that does regular reviews to ensure that proper hand washing techniques are used. The hand hygiene auditor's job is to objectively observe all staff and physicians to ensure that proper hand washing techniques are used and the GASHA meets the required standard for hand hygiene. Proper hand hygiene can be achieved by using either alcohol-based hand rub (ABHR) or soap and running water. The Department of Health and Wellness requires hospital staff and physicians to practice proper hand hygiene before and after they visit and have contact with a patient.

Identification

It is important that you receive the correct medications, the correct tests and treatments. We have a policy that requires your caregiver to identify you every time they provide a service. Sometimes this feels awkward because they know you, they have been caring for you for several days, etc. However, to be safe, be sure that your caregiver identifies you every time.

Resources