WDHB to highlight five different services over Patient Safety Week

25 October 2016
Whanganui District Health Board (WDHB) staff will mark this year’s Patient Safety Week (October 31 to November 4) with displays in Whanganui Hospital’s Main Entrance and Community Mental Health building.
The displays will feature a different service each day beginning with the Medical Service talking about stroke awareness and caring for dementia patients with dignity.
WDHB patient safety and quality manager Louise Allsopp says WDHB staff view Patient Safety Week as an ideal great opportunity to showcase the safe, high-quality health care they work so hard to provide to patients.
“We have a number of programmes in place to make surgery as safe as possible, to help the prevention of falls, to reduce infections, and to make sure people receive the correct medicine,” Mrs Allsopp says.
“The services displaying their safety activities during the week are the Medical, Allied Health, Mental Health, Community and Public Health, and Surgical Services.”
Mrs Allsopp says each display will fit well with the week’s over-arching ‘Let’s Talk’ theme which encourages staff, patients and family members to talk and listen to one another to achieve the best outcomes possible for all.
While DHB staff work hard to ensure patients’ have a safe experience in Whanganui Hospital or with the DHB’s community services, there are things patients they and their family/whānau can do to help them stay safe. They include:
  • Talk with your doctor and nurse and tell them what you know about your illness or injury.
  • Ask questions to help you understand your treatment – why you are having it, the choices, what will happen and the risks and benefits.
  • Clean your hands often to help stop infection, and ask your visitors to clean their hands.
  • Keep a list of and learn the names of the medicines you are taking, the reasons you are taking them and when and how to take them. 
  • Ask for the results of any tests you have and what happens next. 
  • Get to know your ward and make sure the call bell is always within easy reach.
  • Before leaving hospital, ask what you and your family/whānau need to do at home.
Mrs Allsopp says patients are welcome to ask ward staff for a patient safety card which is modelled on the ones given to airline passengers.