Patient safety and you

At Flagstaff Medical Center and Verde Valley Medical Centers, we have a dedicated patient safety program coordinator as well as a patient safety officer who is a member of our medical staff. The two collaborate with all staff members regarding patient safety issues, annual safety goals and the review and investigation of reported events.
Both medical centers also have several multidisciplinary, data-driven teams focused on patient safety issues based on patient experience, clinical need or to support goals to reach best-in-class status. These include a medication management team with emphasis on anticoagulation safety, high-risk medications, insulin, smart pump usage, etc., a never-events task force and a fall prevention committee.

Keeping you safe

We’ve developed a brochure outlining the top ten things you can do as our partner to help ensure your safety as a patient. If you didn’t receive a copy of the Top Ten for Safety brochure during the admission process, please ask your nurse for a copy or see the list below.
Our staff will repeatedly ask you questions to verify your identity while you are a patient here. These questions are one of the key ways we can keep you safe.

Top Ten for Safety

Research shows that patients and families who are more involved with their care feel they are safer, get better results and are more satisfied. During your stay with us, please become an active safety partner by asking the top ten safety questions. If you are a family member or guardian, you can help by asking these questions on behalf of your loved one:

1. Hand washing

Before your care providers touch you, ask them if they washed their hands. Your care providers include your physician, nurse, radiology technologist, etc.

2. Medication safety

If your nurse didn’t ask you who you are, check your arm band, tell you what medication you are being given and what the medication is for, please ask to have these questions answered before you take any medication.

3. Plan of care

If you do not understand why you are in the hospital and what your treatment is, please ask.

4. Allergies

If you have allergies to any food or any medicine, including over-the-counter medicine or herbs, please tell us right away.

5. Drug reactions

Please tell us all the medicines, herbs and over-the-counter medicines you are taking. Leave nothing out.

6. Know the staff

You should know who each person is who iscaring for you. If you don’t know who they are or what their job is, please ask.

7. Consent and right location for surgery

If you’re having surgery, please review with our surgery staff what surgery you’re scheduled for and where the surgery will take place.

8. Fall prevention

If for any reason you feel you might be unstable on your feet, please ask for help.

9. Pain management

If your pain is not controlled, please tell us immediately.

10. Patient satisfaction

If you’re unhappy with any of the care or services we have provided to you or your family, please tell us immediately so that we can meet your needs.

Sunflowers for your safety

At Flagstaff Medical Center, we’ve taken extra steps to ensure the safety of our patients, including persons of size or those individuals who feel they may need a little extra support. Look for sunflower stickers on bathroom stalls and public furniture to indicate the furniture and equipment is safe for anyone who may need additional support.  

Safety system modeled after aviation industry

LifeWings takes safety and procedure methods from the aviation industry and adapts it to healthcare. The program is modeled after the uninterrupted procedures pilots and copilots must go through before takeoff.

The system was first implemented at Flagstaff Medical Center’s Surgical Services, where nearly 300 employees in the department have been trained in the LifeWings program.

Before beginning a procedure, surgical staff including surgeons, anesthesiologists, nurses, technicians and any other member of the surgical team must go through a checklist of quality and safety procedures in addition to a mandatory time-out to verify the patient and the procedure before starting surgery.

After surgery is completed, the surgeon leads a debriefing to discuss any issues and opportunities for improvement. All comments are captured and stored electronically and reviewed.