Here at FMH we have all kinds of processes and technology to keep our patients safe. We use a scanner to match medications to doctors’ orders and to the right patient, we can see a patient’s EKG from the ambulance thanks to LifeNet, our Home Health staff document their visits on secure, wireless laptops (video) — believe me, the list goes on.
But one of the most important steps to ensuring patient safety is one of the least technologically advanced. It’s simple handwashing.
Whether we use the traditional soap and water (with ‘Happy Birthday’ running through our heads to make sure we’re scrubbing long enough), or the newer alcohol-based gel or foam, it’s an essential step to keep our patients (and ourselves) healthy.
Next time you’re in the doctor’s office or visiting us at FMH, remember this: it’s okay to ask any member of your healthcare team to wash his or her hands if you think they’ve forgotten. We want to do everything we can to help you get or stay healthy, but sometimes doctors, nurses and technicians are also humans.
Check out this video (2:00) from the Centers for Disease Control:
What do you think? Are you comfortable enough with your doctor to ask him to wash his hands?