Kids Heartbeat 03-07-14

Published 03/07 2014 08:41AM

Updated 03/07 2014 10:42PM

By Allison Morrison

(LUBBOCK, TX) - You might not know it, but every time you walk into Covenant Women's and Children's Hospital, you have a responsibility.

"We all have a stake in keeping our patients safe," Pediatric Hospitalist, Dr. Lara Johnson, said.

This, and every week, Covenant has made it their mission to improve the safety of patients.

It's part of a nationwide effort known as National Patient Safety Awareness Week.

"Medicine is really complicated and when you have so many moving parts working together, mistakes are going to happen," Dr. Johnson explained.

She described a handful of the most common mistakes, including getting the wrong dose of medicine or developing an infection that has nothing to do with the reason you're in the hospital in the first place.

"If you come into the hospital, you're sick, you're dealing with whatever's going on, you don't want to have something else to deal with too."

Covenant knows all of those things are preventable, but the doctors and nurses need your help too, in order to really make a difference in patient safety.

"You should feel free, as a patient, to say, 'Hey, I don't think you washed your hands. Would you go ahead and wash them, so I can see you,' and that's totally fine."

Dr. Johnson said whether you're a patient or just visiting a patient, you should ask a lot of questions and speak up if you see something unusual.

"If patient safety were easy, then it wouldn't be a problem. We wouldn't have a National Patient Safety (Awareness) Week. It's something that's hard and it's something that the healthcare industry's working hard to address.

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