Pediatric patients can be difficult as they often exaggerate, understate, or are not able to accurately communicate their injury or condition. That’s why healthcare professionals need to take extra care to provide the highest quality of care for these young patients.

Here are a few ways to increase safety for your youngest patients:

Family Centered Rounds: Engage the family in your rounds. Always acknowledge parents and caregivers, and the patient when conscious, when you enter the room. Often parents feel helpless when their child is sick so small acts of kindness go a long way to making them feel part of the solution. Boston Children’s hospital implemented a policy of family-centered rounds and it resulted in a 38% reduction of adverse events, keeping kids safer.

Hospital-wide communication: We can’t say it enough, but accurate record keeping and internal communication is essential to providing the best care possible for all patients. Depending on the child’s length of stay at your facility, they may see a rotating group of doctors, nurses, and technicians. Make sure patient records are detailed and you have internal communication protocols for any changes in procedures or care.

Minimizing re-admittance: If you prescribe medication for a pediatric patient, provide clear verbal and written instructions for caregivers to understand the medication. Do everything to ensure usage and dosage instructions are clear, as well as detailing the possible side-effects so they know what to expect, and when to seek additional medical help.

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