Go ahead, ask. Patient safety comes first
“It’s OK to ask.”
That’s the message of a Greater Cincinnati Health Council-backed campaign to promote patient safety. The idea is that health care providers want patients to be more proactive in their dealings with doctors, nurses and other caregivers.
It’s OK to ask if we washed our hands. It’s OK to ask if that’s the right medicine for my child. It’s OK to ask if they’ve double checked they’re in the right room and talking to the right patient. (A story in yesterday’s Cincinnati Enquirer detailed the campaign.)
At Cincinnati Children’s, we’re glad to be a part of the campaign. In fact, we’ve been encouraging patient and family involvement for years. Parents can call a code. Parents can call a rapid response team if they just think something’s not quite right.
“We know we need to shut up. We need to listen. We need to ask,” says Steve Muething, MD, our patient safety officer.
When parents have questions about care, we try to have them talk to two people, not just one. That’s because two hear better than one, especially if the one is responsible for a potential error.
This is all part of our culture of safety. Each day, we ask ourselves what we can do to provide better care. Yes, it’s time to ask. Please do. We’re listening.