Safety Information for Patients
- How Can I Get the Best Health Care?
- What Can You Do Before You Receive Health Care?
- What Can You Do During Your Medical Visit?
- What Can You Do After Your Medical Visit, Hospital Stay, or Surgery?
- ¿Cómo Puedo Encontrar Información en Español?
How Can I Get the Best Health Care?
What Can You Do Before You Receive Health Care?
To make good decisions about your care, you need to be able to find and understand information about health care services.
Learn how to be a more informed patient
Learn how to find reliable online health information
Be prepared for your hospital stay
Learn what to do before being admitted
Be prepared for your surgery
Know your medical history
Your health information—the medicines you're taking, your allergies, your family history, what illnesses or surgeries you have had-is what makes you medically unique, and can affect your treatment. The one thing you forget to mention could be the detail that might save your life.
One way to keep track of your medical history is to create a personal medical record that keeps all of your medical information in one place.
Learn about personal medical records
Use this tool to create your own personal medical record
Know your medications
It's important for you to know the medications you take. Take a list or a bag with your medicines when you visit the doctor, pharmacy, or hospital. It's important your health care provider knows which drugs you take and that it's safe to take them together. Be sure you understand your medications by talking with your doctor or pharmacist. Make sure you know any side effects and interactions with other drugs for any medications you are taking.
Use this pill card to be prepared for your next medical visit.
Use this guide to make sure you understand your medications.
What Can You Do During Your Medical Visit?
The most important thing you can do to get good care is to talk. Talk to your doctor, talk to your nurse, and talk to other health care workers. It's also a great idea to repeat any instructions you receive back to the doctor, just to make sure you understand.
Ask questions and make sure you understand the answers. Patients who ask questions get better quality health care and can get better results.
Tips on how to communicate with your provider
Learn the right questions to ask
build your own list of questions to take with you
Bring someone with you
Almost half of all adults have some difficulty understanding health information, and in the doctor's office you may not remember or understand everything. Try bringing someone with you to the doctor's office or the hospital to help ask question or take notes.
What Can You Do After Your Medical Visit, Hospital Stay, or Surgery?
After a hospital stay
Use this guide to make sure you are prepared to go home after a hospital visit
Learn about pain management after surgery
¿Cómo Puedo Encontrar Información en Español
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