Patient safety

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Your medical team has a number of safety practices you can expect to see in use.

Surgery and safety

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  • Make sure that you and your medical team agree on exactly what will be done during your operation. With your cooperation, the surgeon or nursing staff will often mark the site of the surgery on your skin before you are brought into the operating room.
  • Speak up if you have questions or concerns. You have a right to question anyone who is involved with your care. Any new members of your health care team should introduce themselves and tell you what their roles are.
  • Ask a family member or friend to come to the hospital or surgery center with you for support and to be your advocate.
  • You can expect hospital staff to check the patient identification bracelet before giving medication or performing procedures like taking blood for tests.
  • At any time during the hospitalization, you should know the physician and nurse who are responsible for your care. This is especially important if you have many health problems.
  • When you are being discharged from the hospital, be sure you fully understand the treatment plan you will use at home. This includes learning about your medications and finding out when you can get back to your regular activities.

For more on patient safety, visit the Agency for Healthcare Research and QualityKaiser Permanente is not responsible for the content or policies of external Internet sites, or mobile apps. website.

Medication and safety

The following recommendations from the Agency for Healthcare Research and QualityKaiser Permanente is not responsible for the content or policies of external Internet sites, or mobile apps. include some of the best ways to reduce the risk of medication errors during an operation.

  • Ask if there are any medicines you should avoid or stop taking before your surgery.
  • Before taking any medication, ask what drugs you're being given, why, and what effects to expect.
  • You have the right to have a family member or friend present whenever you receive medication and cannot monitor that process yourself.
  • If you experience side effects that seem severe or unexpected, report them immediately.
  • Bring a list of medications you are currently taking to your doctor visits, and to the surgery center or hospital.
  • Make sure your doctor, surgeon, and medical or hospital staff know about any allergies and reactions you have to any medication.
  • Before you leave the hospital or surgery center, ask for a list of medications you should be taking at home and how to take them correctly.

Maintaining high standards for our patients

One way we make sure that surgery patients receive the best possible care is by using an innovative tracking method called an implant registry.

An implant registry is a database that tracks Kaiser Permanente members who have received a specific type of implant, such as an artificial hip or a pacemaker. Our registries collect information on member demographics (such as age or gender), implant models, surgeries or other procedures, and health outcomes.

This lets us track implants and learn how well they work for a large group of members. In turn, your health team uses that knowledge to decide which implant is right for you.

Learn more about our implant registry.

You're part of our team

You're the most important part of your surgery team. Learn about the ways you can help your surgery be as safe as possible, and help protect your health and the health of others.

Reviewed by Kaiser Permanente in 2018

Surgery and your safety

Learn about the steps you and your surgery team will take to ensure your safety.

After your surgery

You’ll find patient instructions to help you have a safer and more comfortable recovery.

When a child needs surgery

Children needing surgery want comfort and answers. Learn how to get your child prepared for surgery.