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Patient Safety

At Lake Charles Memorial Hospital, our goal is to ensure expert medical care in the safest possible environment. Patients can play a vital role in their personal safety by becoming an active, involved and informed member of their own healthcare team.

Please tell us about

  • Your health history, including past surgery, or a tendency to fall or become dizzy.
  • Diet, including any special food or drinks.
  • All medications you take at home, including prescriptions, vitamins, supplements, herbs, and over-the-counter medicines.
  • Allergies or reactions to medication, food, solutions or dyes (such as iodine), or latex.

Expect to

  • Show your identification band and give your name before being given a medicine or having a procedure or test.
  • Give another type of identification besides your name, such as your birth date.
  • Identify the correct place on your body for surgery, in the event you are having surgery.
  • Call your caregiver if the alarm on your medical equipment rings.
  • Have your caregivers wash their hands before and after caring for you.
  • Note that all Memorial Hospital employees must wear a photo identification badge, which has the employee’s name and photograph clearly displayed. PLEASE TAKE TIME TO NOTICE WHETHER THE PHOTOGRAPH ON THE BADGE AND THE STAFF MEMBER’S FACE ARE THE SAME. IF THEY ARE NOT, NOTIFY THE NURSE’S STATION IMMEDIATELY.

Students who are at Memorial for clinical rotations will have their name badges clearly displayed on their uniforms.

Stop The Spread Of Germs

  • Cover your nose and mouth with a tissue when you cough or sneeze OR
  • Cough or sneeze into your upper sleeve, not your hands.
  • Put your used tissue in the nearest waste basket.
  • You may be asked to put on a surgical mask to protect others.
  • Wash hands with soap and warm water for 20 seconds or clean with alcohol-based hand cleaner when soap and water are not available.

Please note that staff members who have not received an influenza vaccination may be required to wear a surgical mask when providing patient care or having direct patient contact.

Speak Up

  • Ask about alarms on medical equipment.
  • Ask what medication is being given to you and why.
  • Speak up if you have questions or concerns.
  • Your health is too important to worry about being embarrassed if you don’t understand something that your doctor, nurse or other healthcare professional tells you.
  • Don’t be afraid to ask about patient safety issues.
  • Don’t be afraid to tell the nurse or the doctor if you think you are about to get the wrong medicine, or if you think he or she has confused you with another patient.
  • Ask a trusted family member or friend to be your advocate (advisor or supporter). He or she can ask questions that you may not think about when you are stressed, and can help you understand the medicines and treatments you receive in the hospital and those you may need when you get home.
  • Alert your nurse if your family or friends are leaving your room and/or the nursing unit.

Patients’ Color-Coded Wristbands

There are five different color-coded “alert” wristbands that have been standardized throughout Louisiana to help your healthcare team identify any risks that you may have and further protect you during your hospitalization.

Red wristband
Red Means Allergy Alert

If you have an allergy to anything–food, medicine, dust, grass, pet hair, ANYTHING–tell us. It may not seem important to you, but it could be very important in the care you receive.

Yellow wristband
Yellow Means Fall Risk
We want to prevent falls at all times, so your nurse or physician may determine that you need extra attention–-especially if you are weakened by your illness or a recent surgery. When a patient has a yellow color-coded alert wristband, it indicates that he or she needs assistance when walking or getting out of bed to prevent a fall.

Purple wristband
Purple Means “DNR” Or Do Not Resuscitate

Some patients have expressed an end-of-life wish and we want to honor that.

Pink Wristband
Pink Means Restricted Extremity

When a patient has a pink color-coded wristband, the healthcare provider is alerted that this patient’s extremity should be handled with extreme care. Other care providers are alerted to check with the nurse prior to any tests or procedures.

Green Wristband
Green Means Latex Allergy

When a patient has a green color-coded wristband, it alerts the healthcare provider to an allergic reaction to latex.

Yellow Star

If your nurse or physician determines that you need extra attention to prevent a fall–-especially if you are weakened by your illness, medication or a recent surgery—a yellow star will also be placed on the entrance door to your room. This alerts the staff so that they can better determine how to care for you: Your bed rails may be raised for your protection—even if you are awake—and special care will be taken when you are walking or getting out of bed. If you are considered a fall risk, please call your nurse before lowering your bed rails or attempting to leave your bed.

The Rapid Response Team

We believe that teamwork is key to offering the best healthcare to our patients and their families. We ask that you partner with us in this effort, by being alert to the needs of your loved ones who are our patients.

What is the Rapid Response Team?
This team of highly trained professionals responds 24 hours a day to calls for immediate assistance when a patient’s condition worsens unexpectedly.

Who calls the Rapid Response Team?

  • Nursing Staff
  • Family Members
When should family members call the Rapid Response Team?
  • When nursing staff has been notified of the patient’s worsening condition, but is unable to respond.
  • When the patient’s condition quickly worsens and there is no time to notify the nursing staff.

How to access the Rapid Response Team
Call 111 and tell the operator that the Rapid Response Team is needed.

The operator will ask for caller identification, room number, patient name and patient concern. The operator will immediately inform the Rapid Response Team who will arrive in the room to assess the situation.

The Rapid Response Team is for rapidly worsening medical conditions only. For other patient needs, please notify the nursing staff or House Supervisor as necessary.

General Precautions

Thoroughly read all medical forms and make sure you understand everything before you sign. If you don’t understand, ask your doctor or nurse to explain. Remember, it is required that you be told the risks, benefits and alternatives to procedures, surgery or your plan of care. This is done to inform you, not scare you.