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Patient Safety

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At Cook Children's, the safety of patients, families and employees has always been very important. Providing safe, quality care is a key component of Our Promise to improve the health of every child in our region, including the one child that matters most, yours.

An informed family can help reduce the risk of preventable harm–such as infections and medication errors. You are a critical part of the caregiving team. We want you to take the following actions when visiting any of our facilities to help keep your child safe.

  • Be an advocate for your child. Raise concerns. Speak up. Don't be afraid to ask questions about your child's care and raise any safety concerns you may have. Writing down your questions can help you remember them.
  • Wash your hands and your child's hands, and make sure all your visitors and caretakers wash their hands too. Hands should be washed after bathroom visits, food handling, touching public services (such as magazines, tabletops, doorknob, handles and handrails) and coming and going from different areas of the facility (such as X-rays, lab draw station, treatment rooms, etc).
  • Preventing skin infections. Make sure the skin around the dressing of a wound, intravenous catheter, g-button, or other access point is clean and dry. If you see any red or irritated skin, notify your health care provider right away.
  • Get to know your child's medications. Your doctor should explain any medications prescribed for your child, including dosing instruction and any precautions you should be aware of. Having all information regarding your child's current medications in a notebook can be very helpful. Our family medical planner can help you keep organized with all of your child's medical information.

If your child receives care at an urgent care center, emergency department or the medical center, and requires a medical identification band, caregivers will check your child's identification band before giving a medication. If you don't see this, ask them to double check that the medication is for your child.

  • Be prepared when going home by knowing your child's medications, treatments and schedule for follow-up visits. Please call us if you have questions or concerns.

Partnering with parents

At Cook Children's, we believe in a family-centered approach to health care. We know that when a child is sick, it affects the whole family. Because families play a big role in their child's recovery and healing, we partner with families to provide the best and safest care possible for kids.
Here are some of the ways we support the family-centered care relationship:

  • Dignity and respect: We listen to and honor the family's point of view and choices. We work to combine family values, beliefs and cultural backgrounds into the care we provide.
  • Information sharing: We explain all options, treatments and the entire procedure in a timely manner to educate the family so they can make the right choices for their child.
  • Participation: We encourage and empower parents to participate in the treatment and decisions for their child.
  • Collaboration: Our leaders and health care team members work as partners with families on creating policies and programs that work for everyone. We value family input.

Patient Safety Committee

The Patient Safety Committee will promote a culture of safety throughout our system by establishing safety as a priority for all staff, patients, family members and visitors. We will encourage reporting and investigation of adverse events and near misses in order to identify opportunities for improvement and to reduce the opportunity for this type of event to occur in the future.

We will learn from our experiences and the experiences of others. We will develop systems that enhance communication, transparency, idea sharing and process improvement.

Our patients and families will have confidence that Cook Children's Health Care System is a safe place to receive care.

Read more about Cook Children's committment to quality and safety