Provider Resources: Patient Safety

Standards designed by the health care industry and patient safety groups hold both health care professionals and patients accountable for patient safety. Here’s what you can do to help keep your patients safe.

Know your patients’ rights and responsibilities

It is a patient’s right to have understandable instructions, legible prescriptions, and clear explanations. In return, patients are responsible for being honest and open about their symptoms and medical and medication histories.

Communicate with your patient

Provide each patient with a clear, written treatment plan. Include relevant information, such as:

  • When and how test results will be communicated
  • Instructions for taking medication
  • Instructions on any other action the patient must take
  • If the patient is hospitalized, consider a visit to review care with the patient and his or her health care providers
Improve communication among caregivers

If you refer a patient to a specialist, ask to hear back about the patient’s status. Consider implementing a “read back” process for verbal or telephone orders, or for critical test results.

Write clear prescriptions

Make sure the prescriptions you write are legible. Where possible, write both the brand name and generic name of the medication on the prescription. Give your patients verbal and written information about how to take the medication, and let them know about any drug interactions and/or side effects.

Organize your office and sites of care

Designate an area in your office for charts that require updates. Use a standardized exam room setup to reduce the risk of a caregiver picking up the wrong instrument or supply. Highlight sound-alike and look-alike packages with stickers and store them separately to prevent mix-ups.

Promoting Patient Safety

The following resources provide information that can help promote patient safety. Quartz encourages all participating providers to be actively involved in patient safety practices.

Wisconsin Health Reports

This website is supported by the following Wisconsin non-profit organizations:

The goal of the website is to help patients understand the quality of care they receive from doctors, hospitals, or clinics related to diabetes, hypertension, and colon cancer screenings.

Medwatch Safety Program

This website is maintained by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) and provides resources to pharmacists, practitioners, and others, allowing users to keep current with medication safety.

Wisconsin Price Point

A subsidiary of the Wisconsin Hospital Association (WHA), the WHA Information Center’s Price Point website is dedicated to collecting and providing information about services provided by Wisconsin hospitals. The website provides information about hospital charges for specific procedures.


MetaStar is the Medicare Quality Improvement Organization for Wisconsin, under contract with the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS). MetaStar works with physicians, patients, and the community to improve immunization and cancer screening rates and improve outpatient cardiovascular care. MetaStar has a separate division, the Wisconsin Health Information Technology Extension Center (WHITEC), that focuses on improving Electronic Health Record quality and utilization in Wisconsin.

Triple Aim: Better Health and Better Care at Lower Cost

Triple Aim is a framework developed by the nonprofit Institute for Healthcare Improvement (IHI), a global organization that focuses on optimizing health care through the Triple Aim of:

  • Improving the health of populations
  • Enhancing the experience and outcomes for the patient
  • Reducing the per capita cost of health care

The organization helps provide training for health care providers in order to improve the health care of individuals and populations.

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