Patient Safety - PIH Health - Whittier, CA

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Patient Safety

At PIH Health, our focus is on you. That means we work hard to deliver on our promise of quality, safety and comfort.

Your Safety – Front and Center

Rely on us to put your safety first when you’re a patient at PIH Health. We continually meet the highest standards for quality care and patient safety established by The Joint Commission, a national independent, nonprofit organization that sets the benchmark for healthcare in the United States.

Our patient safety program ensures your protection in every aspect of healthcare delivery, service and culture at PIH Health. We continually evaluate and improve the quality and safety of our processes and systems, so you receive the best possible care. We identify high-risk areas, work to reduce error, bring in new knowledge and share safety information across our organization.

Medication Safety

All medications you take while you’re in the hospital are prescribed by your physician and supplied by the hospital pharmacy. If you bring any medications to the hospital, let your nurse or doctor know. We’ll either keep them for you or send them home with a family member after a nurse has reviewed your current home medications with you. You have the right to be informed about your prescribed medications, including directions for taking them, the importance of taking them as directed and any precautions and warnings.

You play an important role in the safe use of medications while you’re in the hospital and when you return home. The Institute for Safe Medication Practices (ISMP) recommends these top 10 actions for you or your caregivers to take that can help prevent errors when medications are prescribed, even before you enter the hospital:

  • Share your medication list. Tell us about everything you’re taking, including prescriptions, over-the-counter (OTC) medications, “natural” or herbal remedies, supplements, alternative medications and recreational drugs like alcohol. Keep a list of all the medications you take.
  • Discuss allergies and the type of reaction you have. We want to know exactly what happens when you are exposed to these substances so we can respond quickly in case of emergency.
  • Discuss alcohol and other substance use. The information will remain confidential. Because alcohol or other drugs may interfere with medications or may change the way you respond to them, your honesty is very important.
  • Coordinate your home medication list with medicines you’re given in the hospital. Bring your personal medication record with you to the hospital and to all of your follow-up visits with your doctor or healthcare team.
  • Learn about new medications. Ask your doctor about each medication and the reason you need to take it. If you have any questions or concerns, ask.
  • Keep your hospital identification (ID) band on at all times. Before anything is done, make sure someone reads or scans your ID band to identify you.
  • Call for the nurse if a medication pump beeps, if you have one. Never attempt to turn off a pump or allow any of your visitors to touch the pump.
  • Bring an advocate - if possible. It is always helpful to have someone else to review concerns with. 
  • Don’t let family members or visitors press a pain pump button.  Only you know your pain levels.  If you have a pain pump, it will be calibrated to give you the appropriate amount of medication per your physician’s orders. 
  • Review your discharge instructions. You should receive an updated medication list when you’re released from the hospital. Compare it to what you were previously taking and ask about any changes. Ask your nurse to write down any new reactions or side effects. Be sure you’re clear about what you need to do when you return home.

Infection Prevention

Infection prevention is a major challenge for every healthcare organization. When you’re a patient at PIH Health hospitals, you can help us protect you from the spread of colds, flu and other infections by following these guidelines and asking your visitors, doctors and other caregivers to join you.

  • Wash your hands often with soap and warm water. Rub your hands really well for at least 15 seconds. Always clean your hands before touching or eating food and after you use the bathroom, take out the trash, change a diaper, visit someone who is ill or play with a pet. All visitors and healthcare staff should use the antibacterial foam located in every room, first as they enter a room and again when they leave.
  • Cover your mouth and nose when you need to sneeze or cough. When you sneeze or cough, germs can travel three feet or more, which can spread many types of disease and infection to others. Keep tissues handy at home, at work and in your pocket. Throw away used tissues in proper containers and then wash your hands.
  • Stay away from other people if you are sick. Stay home if you have a fever. Call work or school and let them know you’re sick. Avoid contact with others, such as shaking hands.
  • Make sure your immunizations are current—even for adults. Check with your doctor to find out if you need any immunizations.

Help Stop the Spread of MRSA

Methicillin resistant staphylococcus aureus (MRSA or Staph) is a type of bacteria commonly carried on the skin or in the nose of healthy people. Generally, you can have MRSA without causing an infection. At other times, this bacterium does cause infections.  Although anyone can get an MRSA infection, patients in the hospital can be more susceptible due to weaker immune systems. The best way to stop the spread of MRSA is effective hand washing.

Influenza (Flu) Vaccination

Flu vaccine is recommended for everyone age 6 months and over, including healthy adults. It’s especially important to get a flu vaccine if you’re:

  • 6 months through 18 years of age
  • 50 years and older
  • Pregnant or just had a baby
  • Morbidly obese
  • Living in a nursing home or long-term care home
  • Living with a weakened immune system or chronic medical condition (diabetes, heart disease, lung disease, etc.)
  • Living with or caring for someone who’s more likely to have flu complications
  • A healthcare provider

The Los Angeles County Department of Public Health offers flu vaccines at no charge to people who don’t have health insurance or whose healthcare provider doesn’t offer flu vaccines. If you have health insurance, contact your regular healthcare provider or insurance company.

Check the Los Angeles County public health website to find a flu vaccine location near you. For more information and current clinic schedules, dial 2-1-1.

For Your Security

Help us make your stay at PIH Health hospitals as safe as possible for both you and your visitors. Follow these policies:

  • No smoking – PIH Health hospitals are nonsmoking facilities. Smoking is permitted only in designated areas outside the buildings.
  • Fire drills/disaster drills – We regularly conduct fire drills and disaster drills. Our hospital professionals are trained in fire protection. You’ll hear “Code Red” over the intercom if you’re in the hospital during a drill. Remain calm and stay in your room.
  • Lost and found – Leave all valuables at home. PIH Health accepts no responsibility for items of value. If you choose to bring valuables, they must be stored in a safe in our Cashier’s Office. If you lose something while you’re with us, notify a care team member immediately. We will make every effort to locate it. Our Lost and Found Department keeps all items turned in for 90 days. To ask about lost items, call Ext. 12459.
  • Personal electronics – For your safety, all plug-in electrical devices (shaver, hair dryer, etc.) must be approved before use. To have your devices checked for approval, call Ext. 12100.
  • Oxygen and electronics – Special regulations govern locations where patients receive oxygen. Electrically operated equipment and aerosol products are not permitted in these areas.
  • Cameras and other recording devices – For everyone’s safety and security, we ask you not to use any type of camera or videotaping device—including cell phone cameras—in any area of our hospitals where pictures of patients or hospital personnel could be recorded or captured. You must have prior hospital authorization and the express written consent of the patient to take pictures or record videos. For more information, ask your nurse.

eMD - Electronic Medical Documention

When you’re in the hospital, we keep track of all the care we provide by making notes in your medical chart. At PIH Health, we’re converting all of our medical charts and records from paper form to electronic/digital form. Our system is known as eMD—Electronic Medical Documentation.

Electronic medical records offer many benefits that help us deliver safe, high-quality care for you. eMD streamlines our processes, automates safeguards and continually monitors and measures activity. Benefits include:

  • Improving Safety
    • Physicians will enter orders directly into their system. That reduces the potential for errors from misunderstood handwriting or the likelihood of lost information.
    • Physicians and staff will be alerted by eMD if they order a medication you’re already receiving.
  • Improving Quality
    • Caregivers will follow best-practice guidelines. These are created automatically and based on your diagnosis or condition.
    • Quality measures are tracked in real time.
    • eMD will help eliminate duplication of effort and variables in care.
    • eMD helps us access important information, monitor patients and meet regulatory requirements for excellent care
  • Improving Efficiency
    • Reduces time between your doctor’s medication order and delivery of the drug
    • Allows access to your healthcare information for multiple team members at the same time so they can coordinate your care
    • Eliminates the need to collect your information multiple times for multiple caregivers; everyone works from a single source
    • Helps use our hospital resources more efficiently

PIH Health Staff Uniform Colors

To help you identify the role of your caregivers, PIH Health uses color-coded uniforms for all staff involved in direct patient care:

  • Nursing (RNs/LVNs) and LPTs – Ocean blue (royal blue)
  • Nurse Attendants/Unit Clerks/Unit Registration Clerks/ED Clerks/OB Technicians/Monitor Technicians – Wine (similar to burgundy)
  • EMTs/Orderlies/Transportation Attendants/PIH Health Physicians Medical Assistants – Black
  • Cardiology – Caribbean blue (greenish blue)
  • Radiology – Navy blue
  • Occupational Therapy/Physical Therapy – Midnight blue (dark blue)
  • Respiratory Services – Ciel blue (light blue)
  • Environmental Services – Evergreen (dark green)
  • PIH Health Physicians Clerical – Purple
  • Diabetes Management/Blood Donor– Gray
  • eMD – Red
  • Laboratory  - Jade or Eggplant
  • Breast Health Care – Lavender
  • Pharmacy - Brown

Contact Us

Our Patient Services representatives can help you find information and solve problems. We also connect you with PIH Health doctors and services.

8 am – 5 pm
Monday through Friday
562.947.8478 Ext. 82199

PIH Health Corporate Offices
12401 Washington Blvd.
Whittier, CA  90602



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