Northfield Hospital is giving its word. Staff members in the hospital and clinics pledge to give patients their best effort, every day, every patient visit.
The “I Promise” campaign, launched earlier this year as part of a patient safety initiative, is designed to reduce medical errors. Tammy Hayes, Nursing Division Administrator, at Northfield Hospital, says this is the right thing to do for patients.
“In recent years, there’s been a real push nationally to reduce medical errors,” said Hayes. “Patient safety has always been our first priority at Northfield Hospital and we want to do everything in our power to make sure patients receive the best care possible.”
The campaign has three parts. One is to remind caregivers to be vigilant with the basics, such as washing hands before giving care, matching the patient’s name with the medical record before giving medicine or performing a procedure and explaining the care and medications before they are delivered. The second part extends the campaign to auxiliary personnel, from Housekeeping and Dietary to Pharmacy. They are promising to provide a clean, comfortable environment and to honor patients by treating them with respect.
The third part is inviting patients to be partners in care. This idea builds on a national “Speak Up” campaign launched in 2002. It urges patients to take an active role in preventing health care errors by becoming involved and informed participants in their healthcare team.
The “I Promise” pledge includes a commitment to listen to patients’ questions and concerns and to stop any procedure if it doesn’t seem right to the patient.
“No system is perfect,” Hayes said. “But if patients feel comfortable working together with caregivers there will be better patient outcomes and fewer safety issues.”