Tips & Tools: Questions Are The Answer

Help your patients get more involved in their health care by asking questions, talking with the health care team, and understanding their condition.

Research shows that patients who have a good relationship with their health care team receive better care and are more satisfied. Patients and families who engage with health care providers ask good questions and help reduce the chance of mistakes, tests that are not needed, and avoidable hospital stays.

The resources below will help your patients prepare for their medical appointments, ask questions, and talk with you and other members of the health care team.

Patients can use our online tools, including the Question Builder that lets them create a list of questions, to get the most out of their health care visit.

Our Resources

Be More Involved in Your Health Care Be More Involved in Your Health Care: Tips for Patients
Patients get better care when they talk with their doctor. This short, easy-to-read brochure gives tips that will help patients be prepared before, during, and after medical appointments.
For free printed copies, call 1-800-358-9295, email AHRQpubs@ahrq.hhs.gov, or order online.
My Questions for This Visit My Questions for This Visit
Notepads (100 tear-off sheets per pad) to help patients prioritize their questions while in the waiting room are available for order from AHRQ's Publication Clearinghouse. 
For free printed copies, call 1-800-358-9295 or email AHRQpubs@ahrq.hhs.gov.
For details about co-branding and partnership opportunities, please call AHRQ’s Communications Office at 301-427-1246.
patients in a doctor's waiting room. Waiting Room Video
This 7-minute video for your waiting room features patients and clinicians discussing the importance of asking questions and sharing information. To order a free copy of this video on DVD, call 1-800-358-9295 or email AHRQpubs@ahrq.hhs.gov.
Treatment Options videos Treatment Options Videos
Three videos discuss the need to get clear, unbiased information about treatment options when an individual receives a a new diagnosis, is considering other choices for treatments, or is caring for a loved one.
mage of 20 Tips pdf 20 Tips to Help Prevent Medical Errors
Medical errors can occur anywhere in the health care system and can involve medicines, surgery, diagnosis, equipment, or lab reports. These 20 tips tell patients what they can do to get safer care.
For free printed copies, call 1-800-358-9295 or email AHRQpubs@ahrq.hhs.gov.
image of a page from the glossary Glossary
Our easy-to-read glossary helps patients make sense of health care the terms.
Your Medicine: Be Smart. Be Safe. Your Medicine: Be Smart. Be Safe. (with wallet card)
This guide was developed by AHRQ and the National Council on Patient Information and Education (NCPIE). You can learn more about how to take medicines safely by reading this guide. It answers common questions about getting and taking medicines and has handy forms that will help you keep track of information. Keep this guide with your medicines in case you have any questions, concerns, or worries.
For free printed copies, call 1-800-358-9295 or email AHRQpubs@ahrq.hhs.gov.
Page last reviewed August 2017
Page originally created August 2011
Internet Citation: Tips & Tools: Questions Are The Answer. Content last reviewed August 2017. Agency for Healthcare Research and Quality, Rockville, MD. http://www.ahrq.gov/patients-consumers/patient-involvement/ask-your-doctor/tips-and-tools/index.html