Patients and their families can provide another layer of defense against adverse events, and in fact they are often the best sources of information. Not only do patients and families feel valued when they are involved in safety checks and multidisciplinary rounds, but their questions and comments often indicate possible errors. Staff members should always take patients and their families very seriously.
- Invite patients and families to take part in multidisciplinary rounds and ask for their comments.
- Include patients and families as partners to monitor for compliance with safe practices (e.g., they can make sure no one administers medication without verifying the patient identification).
- Establish a practice of stopping and re-verifying a medication, test, or intervention any time a patient or family member asks whether it is correct.
- Recruit patients and family members to patient safety committees.