Patient safety is our primary concern. Many procedures are in place to protect our patients' safety and to secure the best medical outcome possible. However, as with any system, these safeguards are not completely error proof. By working with your child's health care team, you can help us ensure a safer health care experience for your child.
Patient Safety: How You Can Help
Please let us know if something seems unsafe or if you see something that we could do better. We welcome your concerns and questions and encourage you to express them to your doctors, nurses and other staff. They will know who to contact to correct the situation.
Help prevent medical errors
- Know what your child's medications look like. If your child's given a medication that doesn't look familiar, speak up and alert the doctor or nurse. Do the same when picking up medications from the pharmacy.
- Make sure your child's doctors are aware of any medicines or supplements your child takes. This includes prescription and over-the-counter medications as well as dietary supplements such as vitamins and herbs.
- Make sure your child's doctors and nurses know about any allergies and adverse reactions your child has had to medications.
- When your child's doctor writes a prescription, make sure you can read it.
- Ask for information about your child's medicines in terms you can understand, both when the medicines are prescribed and when you receive them.
- Know your child's health care providers. All UCSF Benioff Children's Hospitals employees – doctors, nurses and other staff – wear a photo identification badge while on duty. If you're not sure who someone is or what their role is, please ask.
- Make sure your child's health care team members wash their hands before providing care. Evidence is overwhelming that hand washing is the single most important thing that we can do to prevent the spread of infection. Wash your hands before entering and leaving your child's room and be sure to follow any required isolation precautions.
- Let us know if you notice any change in your child's condition or if your child's experiencing any pain or discomfort.
- When your child is being discharged from the hospital, ask the doctor, nurse or pharmacist to explain the treatment plan you will follow at home. Let them know if you have concerns about following the treatment plan due to your family or home situation. Make sure you're aware of all the medications your child should take and know where to get them.
- Help us prevent patient falls. Crib rails should always be up. Beds must be in the lowest position, with the guard rails up at night. Always use the safety straps on highchairs, stroller and wheelchairs. Please don't leave your child unattended in a highchair, window seat or sleep chair.
- Unless there's a medical reason, we follow sleep guidelines. That means infants less than 1 year old are placed on their back to sleep. Children who are shorter than 35 inches or less than 2 years old will be put in a crib. Alternative beds may be used to provide additional safety for your child. For the safety of our patients, bed sharing or co-sleeping is not allowed.
- If your child is having surgery, make sure you, your child's doctor and the surgeon all agree clearly on exactly what will be done.
- Make sure you know who is in charge of your child's care. This is particularly important when many people are involved in treatment or if your child has multiple health issues.
Please don't hesitate to tell your child's doctor or any member of the care team if you have questions or concerns. You are an important part of your child's care team.
Report a safety concern
You can, at any time, report a safety concern anonymously by calling our patient safety hotline (San Francisco patients) or contacting a patient advocate (Oakland patients). You may also submit feedback to our Patient Relations department.
If your safety concerns aren't resolved, please contact UCSF Benioff Children's Hospitals administration. If you feel your safety concerns aren't being adequately addressed by UCSF, you may contact the Joint Commission's Office of Quality Monitoring. The Joint Commission is an independent health care accrediting organization.
(510) 428-3885 ext. 5483
UCSF Benioff Children's Hospital Oakland
747 52nd St.
Oakland, CA 94609
500 Parnassus Ave.
San Francisco, CA 94143-0296
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