Atlantic Health System cares about our patients’ safety. Hand hygiene and fall prevention play a major role in the healing process.
The single most important thing you can do to help prevent infections is to wash your hands and make sure that everyone who touches you — including doctors and staff — wash their hands too.
You, family members and friends should wash hands:
- After touching objects or surfaces in the hospital room
- Before eating
- After using the restroom
It is also important that your health care providers wash their hands with soap and water or use an alcohol-based hand rub every time, both before and after they touch you. You and your family should not be afraid or embarrassed to speak up and ask them to clean their hands if they forget.
Hospital patients may fall because they are weak or unsteady, their medication makes them dizzy, or because they’ve been sitting or lying down for too long. Please follow these guidelines during your hospital stay:
- Do not get out of bed by yourself unless you have been cleared to do so. Your hospital bed is probably higher and narrower than your bed at home and you can easily fall while trying to get in or out of it. Please use your nurse call button and ask for assistance.
- Keep the following items within reach: call button, tissues, water, eyeglasses, telephone and TV remote.
- Do not walk with bare feet. Wear non-skid socks or slippers. We offer slippers if needed.
- Make sure your robe or pajamas don’t drag on the floor; they can cause you to trip.
- Use the handrails in the bathroom and throughout the hospital at all times.
- Ask your nurse to show you how to properly walk with your IV pole, drainage bags and any other equipment.
- Be sure your wheelchair is locked when getting in or out of it. Never step on the footrest.
- If you see a spill on the floor, report it at once.
Be a more informed health care consumer
- Ask questions about your illness or condition.
- If you don't understand any information from your health care provider, ask for clarification.
Keep track of your history
- Write down your medical history, including medical conditions, illness, immunizations allergies and hospitalizations.
- Keep a typed or printed list of all medications, vitamins, supplements or herbal remedies that you are taking. Make sure to include the frequency and the amount that you take.
- Keep a list of all of your doctors and their phone numbers.
- You can use this Personal Medication List to keep track of your health information.
Work with your doctor and other health care professionals as a team
- Make sure to give your doctor a complete medical history including a list of current medications.
- Ask questions about your care and treatment - If you are being given a medication that you don't recognize, verify that you should be taking it.
- Before surgery, ask the doctor to mark the area to be operated.
Follow your doctor's directions
- Make sure to take prescribed medication as directed.
- If you do not understand the instructions, ask your doctor to write them down.
Our patients are very important to us. Safety concerns should be directed to the site department of quality and patient safety.
To present questions or grievances to a designated hospital staff member and to receive a response in a reasonable period of time. Grievances may be presented to a Chilton Medical Center patient representative at 973-831-5469, a Hackettstown Medical Center patient representative at 908-850-7766, a Goryeb Children's Hospital patient representative at 973-971-5142, a Morristown Medical Center patient representative at 973-971-5142, a Newton Medical Center patient representative at 973-579-8379 or an Overlook Medical Center patient representative at 908-522-5273. You may also directly contact the NJ Department of Health Complaint Hotline at 1-800-792-9770.