What you need to do in the Hospital
Have an advocate -- a friend or relative -- with you as much as possible in the hospital. When checking in, be sure the advocate has legal permission to know details about your treatment.
- Your advocate should ask questions on your behalf and not be intimidated by hospital staff.
- You should select a hospital where your procedure is done often.
- Make sure your doctor knows about any allergies, pre-existing conditions or adverse reactions to medications.
- Bring a list of all medications and supplements you take.
- Each time a nurse brings you medication, ask the following: What is the medicine for? Who prescribed it? When am I supposed to take it? How am I supposed to take it? What are side effects? Is it safe to take with other medications?
- Personnel should check each patient's wristband before drawing blood or giving medication.
- It's critical to avoid infection. Don't let anyone give you anything that's dirty or has fallen on the floor. Ask people entering your room to wash their hands.
- Avoid wrong-site surgery. Surgeons should sign their initials prior to surgery on the body part being operated on; your advocate should ensure that the surgeon has indicated the correct site.
- Don't leave the hospital until you and your advocate fully understand all post-treatment instructions, including what medication to take, proper dosages, when to schedule follow-up appointments and when you can return to normal activities.
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Becoming a More Empowered Patient
First, we have chosen to share a video by Consumer Health Choices: Talking With Your Doctor. In it you will see how preparing for you appointment can make a difference.
We have chosen a second video by the National Patient Safety Foundation: AskMe3, to share with you. Here, you learn that there are three important questions to ask your doctor whenever you see him or her.
Finally, we are sharing a series of videos by Dartmouth-Hitchcock:
Self-Advocacy: The Empowered Patient,
Self-Advocacy: Preparing for your Visit,
Self-Advocacy: Why It's Important To Share and
Self-Advocacy: Doing Research.
For the complete story, please click here
5 Things to Know
- What you need to know in the Hospital
- 15 Steps You Can Take To Reduce Your Risk of a Hospital Infection
- Selecting Doctors & Hospitals
- What to do to avoid medication error
- AHRQ Director Helps Consumers Navigate the Health Care System in a New Advice Column on the Web
You've Suffered Medical Harm - Now What Do You Do?
According to a recent article published by ProPublica titled: So You’ve Become a Patient Safety Statistic – Now What? by Marshall Allen there are six things to do….
- Get a copy of medical records.
- Make sure the incident is reported internally.
- If the patient has died, order a forensic autopsy.
- Consider calling an attorney.
- Meet with the doctor and hospital officials.
- Report the incident to regulators, who can investigate.
For greater detail and more important information, please read the full article.