Mercy Health Safety Goals

Improve the accuracy of patient identification

  • Always use the patient’s name and date of birth as identifiers, asking the patient to state his or her name and date of birth rather than just confirming (except when the patient is unable to speak).
  • Confirmation must take place whenever taking blood samples, administering medication or blood products, or beginning a procedure. Prior to the start of any surgical or invasive procedure, conduct a “Time Out” to confirm the right patient, site and procedure. Use active communication among the caregivers.

Improve the effectiveness of caregiver communication

  • Telephone orders require a “read back” and the order must be written directly on the order sheet.
  • Do not use abbreviations for “unit” or “microgram.” Avoid the use of zero except when the dosage is less than a whole number (0.1). Never use trailing zeros after a decimal point (1.0). Spell out “every day.” Never use “q.d.” or “QD.”
  • Use spaces between the name of the drug, the dosage and the unit of measure. Write legibly.

Improve the safety of high-alert medication

  • Remove concentrated electrolytes from patient care areas. Standardize and limit the number of available drug concentrations.

Promote right-site, right-patient, right-procedure

  • The surgeon marks (initials) the site with the patient observing.
  • The O.R. or procedure team confirms the correct site, patient and procedure with a “time out” before beginning.

Improve the safety of using infusion pumps

  • Maintain free-flow protection on all pumps.

Improve the effectiveness of clinical alarm systems

  • Mercy tests all clinical alarms.
  • Maintain audibility of alarms at all times.