What you can do to stay safe during your hospital stay

Everyone has a role in making healthcare safe — physicians, healthcare executives, nurses, and technicians. You, as the patient, also play a vital role in making your care safe by becoming an active, informed and involved member of your health care team.

  • Tell your doctors and nurses about any allergies or negative reactions to medications, latex, or foods.
  • Bring a list of all current medications including strength, dose, and frequency. Also inform your health care provider of any vitamins, supplements, or over the counter medications you take.
  • Ask questions and make sure you understand your condition, medications, tests, and treatments. Educate yourself about what you need to do to manage your condition and what your caregivers are doing to help you heal quickly.
  • Talk to the staff about the care you’re getting. Ask questions if something doesn’t seem right to you.
  • If you don’t see your physician, nurse, or caregiver wash his/her hands before touching you, ask them to. Hand washing is the single most important thing healthcare workers can do to help prevent the spread of infection.
  • Have a trusted family member or friend available to assist as your care partner. This person can be a second set of ears to listen to the information your physician is telling you and help make sure you follow the instructions as directed.
  • Ask about signs and symptoms that are important to watch for to identify problems and prevent complications.
  • Ask about the care you’ll need after leaving the hospital, and arrange any referrals and after care with your physician.