Friday, February 10, 2012

Five Steps to Safer Health Care

Be sure to remember these five important steps when it comes to your safety in health care environments.
1. Ask questions whenever you have doubts, concerns, or if you need something clarified.
  • Always make sure you understand the answers.
  • Choose a doctor who you feel completely comfortable talking with.
  • To make sure you understand everything being said and presented to you, take a family member or friend with you to help out.
2. Keep and bring a list of all medications you are currently taking.
  • Give both your doctor and pharmacist a list of medications you are currently taking, including non-prescription drugs.
  • Tell them about any drug allergies you have.
  • Always make sure the new medication you receive is what the doctor prescribed.
  • Always read the warning labels on your prescription pills.
  • Ask about side effects and what to avoid eating, drinking, or doing while on it.
3. Get the results of your test or procedure.
  • Ask when you should expect getting the results.
  • Don't assume that the results are fine if you don't get word from your doctor; call and ask.
4. Talk to your doctor about which hospital is best for you.
  • Ask which hospital is better-suited for the care of your condition.
5. Make sure you understand what will happen if and when you need surgery.
  • Ask your doctor, "Who will manage my care when I'm at the hospital?"
  • Ask your surgeon: What exactly will be happening? How long will it take? What will happen after surgery? What will recovery be like?
  • Be sure to tell your surgeon, nurses, and anesthesiologist if you have any allergic reactions to any types of medicines or pain medications.

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