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Safety

Paramount works with providers to make sure you and your family get safe medical care. If you ever think your care will not be safe, ask for it to stop so you can be told what is going on. It is okay to say you are afraid for your safety. It is also okay to tell Paramount if you think something about your health care is or was not safe. These are called Quality of Care reports.

If you are hurt or injured while getting medical care, contact Paramount to report it. Paramount investigates all Quality of Care reports. Call the Member Services at 419-887-2525 or toll free at 1-800-462-3589. TTY users call 1-888-740-5670. After office hours, call Ask Paramount at 1-877-366-1616 (toll free).

Additional resources can be found here.

Here are some tips about Patient Safety

Avoid Injury – Don’t Be a Patient More Often Than Necessary

  • Wash hands often to stop the spread of germs. Teach kids to do the same.
  • Use safety belts and car seats the right way.
  • Wear a bike helmet, or sports safety gear like a mouth guard or knee pads.
  • Safety-proof your home: get rid of throw rugs, put child-locks on cabinets, and change batteries in smoke alarms at least one time each year.
  • Use caution on snow and ice in winter; with sun and heat in summer.

Ask Providers All About Your Health and Well-Being

  • Speak up. If you have questions or concerns, be sure to ask. Make sure you get an answer that you understand. Try this: Repeat back to your doctor what you were told, in your own words. Then ask if that is what he or she meant.
  • Make sure your primary care provider (PCP) is in charge. The coordination of care by one doctor who knows about your health history and condition helps ensure that you get the right care, in the right place, at the right time. Insist that all care or services you receive are put in the medical record at your PCP’s office.
  • Tell health care workers about you/your condition. Do not assume that everyone in your doctor's office or in a hospital knows all about you. Be sure to tell them what is going on. It may feel like you are repeating yourself a lot, but that’s better than not being safe.
  • Take a family member or friend with you to the doctor or hospital.
  • Taking someone else along gives another set of ears to listen when things are explained. If you have advance directives giving this person permission to speak or act on your behalf, be sure to tell your doctor. Otherwise, privacy laws (HIPAA) could be a problem.
  • "More" is not always better. Find out why a test or service is recommended and how it will help you. If you are not sure it is needed, get a second opinion.
  • Always get test results. If you have tests taken, do not assume that no news is good news. Ask your doctor or nurse to explain the results. “Negative” for one kind of test may be good, but for another it may be bad.

Medication Safety – Right Drug, Right Time, Right Dose, Right Patient

Medicine can be very helpful to make a patient feel better. But it can also be very dangerous if not used the right way. Studies show that more health care mistakes are due to medication errors than from operations or misdiagnosis. Here are things you should know about every medicine you take – especially new ones. If you don’t know, ask your provider or pharmacist (drug store). Many people want to know more than what it says on the bottle. If you take any regular medicines, keep a list of them in your wallet or purse. (Click here for a wallet card.)

  • What will this medicine do for you? (Have drug store put what it’s for on the bottle.)
  • How and when do you take it, and for how long?
  • What side effects are possible? What should you do if you have side effects?
  • Is this medicine safe to take along with other medicines, vitamins or supplements?
  • What food, drinks or activities should be avoided while on the medicine?

Patient Safety Everywhere

If you get care at a hospital (inpatient, outpatient or emergency) there will likely be many people taking care of you. While they work very hard to make sure there are NO errors when treating you, sometimes mistakes do happen. By taking part in your own or your family member’s care, you can help make sure it is safe. This is true for nursing homes and outpatient centers, too.

  • Make sure everyone washes their hands before and after caring for you. Hand washing is one of the best ways to prevent the spread of germs at home and in the hospital (where infections can be more serious). If you do not see your health care providers wash their hands or use hand sanitizer, ask that they do. Your visitors should wash hands often to, so they don’t get sick. Click here for English or Spanish poster.
  • Ask about services or tests. If you don’t already know, ask why a test or x-ray is being done to make sure you get the right one. If you need to have an operation, ask the surgeon what mistakes might happen, and how he or she will prevent them. (See Universal Protocol for Preventing Wrong Site, Wrong Procedure, Wrong Person Surgery.)
  • Learn what to do before going home. Before you leave the hospital, make sure you understand what will happen next. Include your family or friends in this talk if they will be helping out when you get home. This “transition of care” is another place where many patient safety problems happen. How soon do you need to go to the drug store for medicine or medical supplies? When are you scheduled to see the doctor(s) and your PCP for follow-up? What can you do to speed up your recovery? When can you return to your normal activities, like driving?

If you have any questions after leaving the hospital or outpatient facility, call your doctor right away. If you can’t reach them, call Member Services at 419-887-2525 or toll free at 1-800-462-3589. TTY users call 1-888-740-5670. After office hours, call Ask Paramount at 1-877-366-1616. For more information about patient safety, you may explore these resources: