We’ve put many safety measures in place to reduce falls, allergic reactions, infections, equipment malfunctions, and medication errors. Still, there are some risks possible with any visit to a hospital. We believe that when patients and hospitals work together, we can lower the risk of accidents and improve the safety for all involved.
Research shows that patients who are more involved with their care tend to get better results. Communication with your health care providers is extremely important. Make sure you understand all aspects of your care, including tests, procedures, medications and other instructions regarding your medical condition. Speak up if you have questions and expect answers you can understand. You have the right to be well informed about the care you are receiving.
Here are some topics you should discuss with your health care providers to help make your hospital stay as safe as possible:
- If you have allergies to certain medications, be sure to tell your doctors and nurses and ask for that information to be documented in your medical records.
- Inform your health care providers of any medications you are currently taking, including prescription medications, over-the-counter medications, vitamins, minerals, dietary/herbal supplements, laxatives, pain relievers, sleeping aids, etc.
- Ask all questions you have pertaining to medications that are prescribed for you. Make sure you understand what the medication is for, the dosage, directions for use, refills, storage, expiration, and what to do about missed dosages. Discuss any side effects or warnings associated with the use of the medication and what to do if you experience side effects.
- If your doctor orders treatment or tests during your hospital stay, a member of your healthcare team will describe what you should expect during the procedure. You should discuss questions or any concerns you might have and ask for any information that makes you feel most comfortable and confident about the care you are receiving.
Make sure you are clear about any instructions you are given when leaving for home, including recommended or limited activities, scheduling follow-up appointments and what medications you need to take.