Patient Personal Belongings and Valuables Policy

Report
Patient Belongings
and Valuables
Stacey Sands BSN, RN
Kelly Thompson BSN, RN-BC
November 2012
Goal and Objectives
Goal: To familiarize staff with changes in the philosophy and management of
patient belongings and valuables.
Objectives:
• Differentiate between belongings and valuables.
• Explain documentation and management of patient belongings/valuables
upon patient admission.
• Describe the proper procedure for returning valuables upon patient
discharge.
Introduction
Helping patients keep track of their belongings is a daily challenge and, in the
past, there have been several ways that belongings have been handled at
Munson.
The primary focus of the NEW “Patient Personal Belongings and Valuables”
Policy #042.P001 is to:
• Maximize patient and staff safety issues knowing that certain items
(medications or potential weapons that could be used to harm self or
others) will not be in patient rooms.
• Minimize time, energy, and resources spent tracking and paying for lost
patient items.
• Develop a standardized process for handling and monitoring these items
while simplifying documentation requirements.
Definitions
Belongings – any personal essential item that needs to be at the bedside. This
includes glasses, contacts, hearing aids, dentures, wigs, or ambulatory aides such
as a brace, cane, or walker.
Belongings = Bedside
Valuables – any item that needs to be locked up for safety. This includes, but is
not limited to, wallets, money, important papers, jewelry, electronic devices
(cellphones, mp3 players, computers), legal medications, and items that have
sentimental value. Space to store patient valuables is limited . Staff should
encourage patients to send valuables home whenever possible.
Valuables = Safe
Notifying Your Patients
The hospital will not accept
responsibility for items that are
kept at the bedside.
A good time to mention this is when
you introduce the Patient and Visitor
Guide.
It notes “Managing Your Belongings”
on page 4.
Patients need to be informed of this
upon admission to the unit. This
discussion takes place at the
patient’s bedside with the unit staff.
Encourage your patient to send
their valuables home!
Belongings
Belongings Container
Items that are needed at the bedside will be stored in a container that has
been labeled with the patient’s ID. These essential items are documented
on the Belongings Form in the patient’s chart.
Belongings Bag
Additionally, a personal belongings bag is provided and tagged with the
patient’s ID label for those items they wish to keep in their room, such as
clothes and shoes needed for when they are discharged.
The belongings bag will read:
“The hospital is not
responsible for personal
belongings. Please send
home belongings with
family.”
Belongings Form - Documentation
NEW- Only certain necessary belongings are inventoried. Notice that it is required
that the belongings policy be discussed with the patient/family. If this is not
possible, you may select “Pt/family unavailable for belongings discussion.”
If valuables are sent to the safe, it is documented on this form.
PAL Task
NEW- If “Pt/family unavailable for belongings discussion” is selected, a task will
fire in 4 hours to remind the nurse to review the belongings form and reassess the
ability to discuss the belongings policy with patient or family.
Belongings Form – Documentation (cont.)
If there is a change in disposition of belongings during that patient stay, open a new
Belongings Form and make any necessary updates. Do NOT modify the original
Belongings Form. This allows belongings to be tracked more accurately.
Valuables
Valuables Envelope
When it is not possible for a patient to send their valuables home, a
“valuables envelope” will be provided. This indicates that the valuables were
surrendered to MMC, sealed in an envelope, labeled with the patient’s ID, and
secured in a safe in the Nursing Administration office. Items too large to fit
into the envelope (such as a laptop computer) can still be stored in the safe.
NEW - It is important to note that valuables are not itemized or inventoried.
Rather, items are placed in the envelope, in the presence of the patient, and
sealed. The patient signs the seal of the envelope. If the patient is unable to
sign, two (2) staff members will sign the seal.
This change in practice will decrease liability and workload for the nursing
team staff.
Storing a Valuables Envelope
•
•
•
•
•
•
Fill out a “Patient Valuables Record Form”. If patient requests a copy, a
photo copy is made.
Put a patient ID label on the form and on the actual “Valuables Envelope”.
Place the items in the envelope. They are not itemized or inventoried
before placing them in the envelope.
Seal the “Valuables Envelope” in the presence of the patient. The patient
then signs the seal of the envelope. If the patient is unable to sign, two (2)
staff members may sign instead.
Take the envelope to the Nursing Administration Office so it can be logged
and secured.
File the “Patient Valuables Record Form” in the patient’s chart.
“Valuables in Safe” sticker
A Valuables in Safe
sticker may be placed
on the front of the
patient chart to serve
as reminder.
Returning a Valuables Envelope
During the patient stay, the valuables envelope may be returned to the patient.
The patient must:
• Sign the release note on the “Patient Valuables Record Form”. They can have
the envelope released to a designee, if needed.
• The envelope is returned unopened.
• Desired valuables may be removed by the patient. A new envelope is utilized if
other valuables are returned to the locked area.
Upon discharge, the nursing team member must:
• Review the “Belongings Form” on the patient’s chart.
• Search the patient’s room for all belongings.
• Remove the “Patient Valuables Record Form” from the chart and give it to the
patient in order to claim their “Values Envelope” from Nursing Administration
upon leaving.
The patient can present the “Patient Valuables Record Form” to Nursing
Administration to authorize pick-up. The release note must be signed and the
envelope is returned unopened.
Belongings and Valuables Returned
Upon discharge, use the link on the Discharge Note to access the Belongings
Form. From here you can indicate that belongings from the bedside and valuables
from the safe have been sent home with the patient.
Medications
Many times, patients bring their medications to the hospital. Names of the
meds brought from home should be noted in the chart, but the actual
medications should be returned home. If that is not possible, they need to be
in the valuables envelope.
•
•
•
Do not itemize the medications.
Seal them in the envelope with the other valuables.
No medications are allowed to be kept at the bedside.
NEW - The safe is now in the Nursing Administration office.
Illegal Medications
Please be aware that any illegal
drugs, medical marijuana and/or
bottles of medicines that are
prescribed for someone other than
the patient will be disposed of
according to policy.
See the Weapons and Contraband
(including Search Procedure) Policy
# 041.013 for more information.
Suicidal Patients
Belongings and valuables for all suicidal patients should be managed per
Management of the Suicidal Patient Policy #070.012.
Regarding suicidal patients in the patient care areas:
If patient belongings are brought to the nursing unit they should be sent home
with family or designee at the time of admission. If patient belongings must
remain on site, they should be bagged and labeled, then sent to the Nursing
Administration office. Valuables will be managed per Patient Personal
Belongings and Valuables Policy #042.P001.
Valuables and belongings will be returned to the patient at the time when the
patient is evaluated as no longer at harm to self or others, or upon discharge.
Family/visitors must be instructed not to bring personal items in to the patient.
Conclusion
Remember, the primary focus of the updated
“Patient Personal Belongings and Valuables”
Policy #042.P001 is to:
•
•
•
Maximize patient and staff safety.
Minimize time, energy, and resources.
Develop a standardized process for
handling and monitoring patient’s items.
Key Points Summary
• Belongings = Bedside, Valuables = Safe
• Items that are needed at the bedside will be stored in a container that has
been labeled with the patient’s ID.
• The hospital will not accept responsibility for items that are kept at the
bedside.
• Valuables are not itemized or inventoried. Rather, items are placed in the
envelope, in the presence of the patient, sealed, and secured in the safe in
Nursing Administration.
Key Points Summary (cont.)
• When valuables are sent to the safe, document on the “Belongings Form”
in PowerChart.
• If there is a change in disposition of belongings during that patient stay,
open a new “Belongings Form” and make any necessary updates.
Do NOT modify the original “Belongings Form”.
• If a patient should bring home medications into the hospital, names of the
meds brought from home should be noted in the chart, but the actual
medications should be returned home. If that is not possible, they need to
be in the valuables envelope.

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