Research shows that patients who are more involved with their care tend to have better experiences. We encourage you to help us serve you even better.
Here are some specific ways you can assist us:
- Be an active member of your health care team by taking part in all decision-making about your care.
- Ask a family member or friend to support you and be your advocate (someone who can help get things done and speak up for you if you can’t) when speaking to your healthcare team.
- Make sure your doctors have a complete list of all medications you are currently taking, including prescription and over-the-counter medicines, along with dietary supplements such as vitamins and herbs.
- If you are having surgery, make sure that you, your doctor and your surgeon all agree and are clear on exactly what will be done.
- Make sure your doctor knows about any allergies and adverse reactions you have to medicines.
- When you receive medicine, ask “what is this for and how will it help me?” Make sure your health care professional explains medications in terms you can understand.
- Some patients go through rehabilitation—sometimes just walking or sitting up in a chair—as part of their healing process. Follow your doctor’s instructions to the best of your ability. While difficult, each action has been prescribed to help you get stronger and out of the hospital faster.
- Whenever you don’t understand something, ask one of your doctors or nurses until you feel comfortable with the answer. We’ll be glad to address your concerns.
- If you are unsatisfied with any of your care you have the right to talk to a patient liaison.
Before you go home
When you are discharged from the hospital ask your doctor to explain the treatment plan you will use at home. This includes learning about your medicines and finding out when you can return to your regular activities.
Also ask for written information about side effects that your medication could cause, along with questions like:
- How am I supposed to take this medication, and for how long?
- Are there any side effects? What do I do if they occur?
- Is this medication safe to take with other medications or dietary supplements I am taking?
- What food, drink or activities should I avoid while taking this medication?
Also double check when picking up your medication at the pharmacy that it is exactly the type your doctor prescribed. If you have any questions about the directions on your medication labels, ask the pharmacist.