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Your Role in Safe Health Care

You or your loved ones want to receive the best and safest care possible. Your safety is top priority at all levels of our organization.

  • A patient safety team evaluates any safety concern voiced by staff, patients or family, and takes action as necessary.
  • All physicians and nurses are board licensed and participate in continuing education.
  • We recommend you have a family member or friend with you during your health care visits to provide comfort and support but also to ask questions.
  • Ask questions and takes notes.

The "Speak Up" program, sponsored by the Joint Commission on Accreditation of Healthcare Organizations, urges patients to get involved in their care. Research shows that patients who take part in decisions about their health care are more likely to have better outcomes. 

To help prevent health care errors, patients are urged to "Speak Up."

  • Speak up if you have questions or concerns.
  • Pay attention to the care you get.
  • Educate yourself about your illness.
  • Ask a trusted family member or friend to be your advocate (advisor or supporter).
  • Know what medicines you take and why you take them.
  • Use a health care organization that has been carefully checked out.
  • Participate in all decisions about your treatment.

Latex Allergy Information

For the safety of our patients, visitors and employees, Avera has developed policies and procedures specific to latex allergy/sensitivity. Because latex products are unavoidable in a hospital environment it can be difficult to completely prevent patient exposure. Yet Avera will take every possible precaution to ensure a latex-safe environment for individuals identified with latex sensitivity.

Please notify your health care providers, including nurses, laboratory, and admitting staff if you know you have a sensitivity or allergy to latex products.

Symptoms of latex allergy can be mild such as itchy, red, watery eyes, sneezing or runny nose, coughing, rash or hives. It can also be very severe with symptoms like chest tightness, shortness of breath and shock, some of which can be life-threatening. A latex-sensitive person can have a life-threatening allergic reaction with no previous warning or symptoms.

Medication Safety

You and your family can lower the risk of medication errors or adverse reactions by being involved and informed.

  • Learn about your medications. Work with your doctor, pharmacist, nurse or other health care providers to get the information you need.
  • Inform your doctor, nurse and other caregivers of all medications you are taking, including  prescription medicines, over-the-counter products, dietary supplements, herbal remedies, eye drops and inhalers
  • Look at each medicine before taking it. If it does not look like what you usually take, ask why. It might be a generic, or it might be the wrong drug.
  • Know what medicines you are allergic to and what reactions you have had, and share this information with care providers.
  • Be a partner in your own health care and the care of your loved ones. Ensure that you’re getting the right medication at the right dose at the right time, and if you’re not sure, ask!

Live Better. Live Balanced. Avera.

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