Many people have a role in making health care safe — physicians, health care executives, nurses and technicians. You, as a patient, also have a role to play to make sure you receive the best quality care possible.
The single, most important thing you can do to ensure you get high quality health care is to take an active role in making decisions about your care.
Delta County Memorial Hospital offers these steps you can take to improve your care:
1. Ask questions. 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 questions and understand the answers.
Here are some examples of questions to ask your doctor. It is not a complete list. You will probably have many other questions.
What is wrong with me?
What do I need to do to get better?
Where can I get more information about my condition?
You should keep asking questions until you understand what is wrong with you and what you need to do to get better.
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 non-prescription 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 medicine, 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 you expected.
3. Get the results of any test or procedure. Ask when and how you will get the results of tests or procedures. Don't assume the 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 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 you get 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 during 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?
About how long will it take?
What will happen after the surgery?
How can I expect to feel during recovery?
Tell the surgeon, anesthesiologist and nurses about any allergies, bad reaction to anesthesia and any medications you are taking.
Source: Agency for Healthcare Quality and Researchblog comments powered by Disqus