Five Steps to Safer Health Care
1. Ask questions if you have doubts or concerns. Ask questions and
make sure you understand the answers. Choose a doctor you feel
comfortable talking to. Take a relative or friend with you to help you ask
understand the answers.
2. Keep and bring a list of ALL the medicines you take. Give your
doctor and pharmacist a list of all the medicines that you take, including
medicines. Tell them about any drug allergies you have. Ask about side effects
and what to avoid while taking the medicine. Read the label when you get your
including all warnings. Make sure your medicine is what the doctor ordered
and know how
to use it. Ask the pharmacist about your medicine if it looks different than
3. Get the results of any test of procedure. Ask when and how you will
get the results of tests or procedures. Don't
results are fine if you do not get them when expected, be it in person, by
phone, or by
mail. Call your doctor and ask for your results. Ask what the results mean
for your care.
4. Talk to your doctor about which hospital
is best for your health needs. Ask your doctor about which hospital
has the best care and results for your condition if you
have more than one hospital to choose from. Be sure you understand the instructions
about follow-up care when you leave the hospital.
5. Make sure you understand what will happen if you need surgery. Make
sure you, your doctor, and your surgeon all agree on exactly what will be done
the operation. Ask your doctor, "Who will manage my care when I am in
the hospital?" Ask your surgeon:
- Exactly what will you be doing?
how long will it take?
- What will
happen after the surgery?
- How can I expect to feel during recovery?
anesthesiologist, and nurses about any allergies, bad reaction to anesthesia,
medications you are taking.