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Patient Safety: More Safety Tips

We believe it is important for you and your family to be involved in your own care and safety. Here are a few more tips to keep in mind during your stay at Yale-New Haven Hospital and once you go home.

Staying Safe in the Hospital

  • Pay careful attention to where you put your dentures, hearing aids, and glasses—they are important to your safety and among the most commonly lost items in hospitals. Put them in a special container with your name on it, if possible.
  • Make sure the nurse call-button on your bed works and know how to use it.
  • Do not bring in food or medications (even over-the counter ones) from home to the hospital, unless approved by your nurse or physician.
  • Don't be afraid to use emergency cords in showers and bathrooms if you need to.
  • No one but staff should touch medical equipment.
  • Ask staff to explain what the equipment does and what alarms mean.
  • Call your nurse if an alarm sounds.
  • Since we are a teaching hospital, specialists, sub-specialists, residents and fellows are available around the clock to care for you. You may have more faces and names to get used to, but you also have more people watching over you.

Continuing Safe Healthcare at Home

  • Communicate with your doctors and pharmacists about the medications you are given. Ask questions, and write down any specific instructions you receive.
  • If you need them, get rails for your bed at home. Ask your doctor or nurse for information.
  • Always keep a phone or bell nearby in case you need to call for help.
  • Never smoke in bed.
  • Be extraordinarily cautious if you have oxygen equipment at home. Oxygen greatly increases the risk and severity of fires.
  • If you have medical equipment that need to be plugged in, use a grounded or three-prong connector. Avoid using extension cords whenever possible.

Communication is Key

Many of the tactics and tips above rely on clear communication between you and your caregivers.

If you need help communicating, have a family member or friend listen with you when a diagnosis, treatment, test result or discharge plan is being explained. Translation services and hearing-impaired assistance are also available any time of day or night, at no cost to you.

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