At Mount Sinai, a core value of our physicians and clinical staff is providing the safest possible care for every patient. Mount Sinai nurses are recognized internationally for their excellence and place patient safety first among their priorities. We train all employees on providing the optimal patient experience and are continuously improving our systems and programs to keep you safe so that healing and recovery happen in an environment of caring, empathy and teamwork.
Systems and Procedures
We encourage every employee to report any safety concerns. Clear and regular communication ensures we all know what is going on with you and other patients. Some of our many approaches to safety include:
- Antibiotic resistance: We use antibiotics when needed—and only when needed. This way, we can keep antibiotics from defeating the drugs intended to fight them.
- Blood safety: We have systems in place to keep blood products safe from contamination. We also ensure the right patient gets the right product at the right time.
- Case management: Our case managers make sure all caregivers communicate effectively with you and each other about your case. They also help coordinate care in the hospital as well as your discharge.
- Cybersecurity: We have systems in place to protect your name, Social Security number, birthdate, address, and medical information.
- Electronic Medical Records: The Electronic Medical Records gives health care providers immediate access to your medical records, prescriptions, and lab results. It helps us coordinate care and improves communication.
- Fall Reduction Program: We use remote patient monitoring, bathroom call bells, and purposeful hourly rounding to keep you safe. Purposeful hourly rounding means a nurse or other staff member checks on you at least once an hour. When we visit you during “rounds,” we focus on checking for pain, seeing if you need help using the toilet, and changing your position so you don’t get an ulcer. We make sure your phone, tissues, water, reading glasses, and other things you might need are easily within reach.
- Flu vaccination: All staff who have contact with patients get vaccinated every year. This protects patients, employees, and visitors against the virus.
- Hand hygiene: Clean hands are the best protection against spreading infection. We wash our hands before and after every patient contact. You may notice all the hand sanitizer dispensers around our facilities.
- Hospital-associated infection: We work hard to lower the chances that you develop an infection while you’re in the hospital. We try to avoid using urinary catheters because they can cause urinary tract infections. All health care providers clean their hands before and after caring for every patient. We clean our hospital rooms and medical equipment before and after each use. We separate contagious and compromised patients from other patients. We also require providers and visitors to wear gloves, gowns and masks to protect you from germs.
- Language Services: If you do not speak English, our highly skilled interpreters can help. They speak Arabic, Burmese, Cantonese, Farsi, French, Haitian Creole, Hindi, Hmong, Italian, Japanese, Korean, Mandarin, Polish, Portuguese, Punjabi, Russian, Somali, Spanish, Tagalog, Vietnamese, American Sign Language, and others. Our translators are always on call.
- Latex safe: We strive to remove all sources of latex from patient contact to protect those with latex allergies.
- Medication administration: We focus on giving the right dose of the right drug to the right patient. And we make sure to administer it in the right way.
- Patient Identification: Our staff may frequently ask you to state your name and date of birth. This is to make sure that we give the right test or treatment to the right patient.
- Physical security: We use closed-circuit video surveillance, electronic access control systems, security alarms, and other approaches to keep you safe.
- Procedural safety: We have detailed protocols for use of X-rays, magnetic resonance imaging, and other imaging scans and radiation treatments.
- Surgical Safety Checklists: Our operating rooms and procedural areas use checklists before, during, and after procedures to make sure we don’t miss a single step in your care.
Programs We Use
At Mount Sinai, we focus on people as well as systems. Two programs we are especially proud of are:
Patient Safety Wednesdays: This is our employee rounding program. We provide formal discussion on patient safety topics to our employees. We follow this discussion with more informal rounding and teaching on assigned inpatient units. We focus on the latest evidence-based practice. You may see us gathered at the nurse’s station sometimes.
Great Catch Program: At The Mount Sinai Hospital we promote open and honest dialogue with our staff, patients, and family members when adverse events arise. To support this culture, we recognize and reward staff who identify safety concerns and act to prevent patient harm. If an employee sees a potential problem and reports it, we recognize that person as a patient safety ambassador. We reward employees who act to prevent harm. We celebrate our Great Catch Award winners. Our goal is to avoid patient harm. We are proud of our employees who practice with patient safety top of mind.