At the Hospital
Have someone with you
Bring a family member or friend who knows your medical history and who can also ask questions. This can help to ensure the best care possible. Family members often provide the comfort and support needed to promote your return to good health.
Bring all the medicines you are taking or a list of medications to every appointment.
Share medical information
Write down and carry important medical information with you. Keep a list of medical history, office visits, and medication use. Medical information should include allergies and the names, addresses and phone numbers of important health care providers.
Make sure you understand the plan of treatment
Ask the nurse or doctor to explain any test results and the plan of treatment. If anything is not clear, speak up and ask questions.
Make sure you know what medicines should be taken
Make sure you know what has been ordered for your care. Ask questions if the medicines look different from before.
Patients, family members and caregivers should wash hands frequently to prevent the spread of infection.
Know who is in charge of your care
Make sure that someone, such as your personal doctor, is in charge of the care for you or your family member. This is especially important in a hospital or in case of a complex illness. Ask if your primary physician will be at the hospital.
Write down any questions about the patient’s condition, treatment, clinic visit or hospital stay. Take notes about what you learn from your caregiver. A the end of your visit to the clinic or hospital, ask for information in writing, including information about medicines, follow-up care, and your treatment plan.
Learn as much as you can
It is up to you to learn as much as you can about the care and treatment. The most important way you can help to prevent medical errors is to be an active and informed member of the health care team. This means taking part in every health care decision.
Prepare for surgery - ask questions
Prior to surgery, talk to the physician and nurse about any concerns.
Talk about the procedure
Make sure that you, the doctor and surgeon all agree and are clear on exactly what is going to be done.
Mark the area
Make sure the body area to be operated on is clearly marked.