Everyone has a role in making health care safe. That includes doctors, health care executives, nurses, and many health care technicians. Health care organizations all across the country are working to make health care safe. As a patient, you can make your care safer by being active, involved and informed member of your health care team.
To prevent health care errors, patients are urged to: SPEAK UP™
- Speak up if you have questions or concerns. If you still don’t understand, ask again. It’s your body and you have a right to know.
- Pay attention to the care you get. Always make sure you’re getting the right treatments and medicines by the right health care professionals. Don’t assume anything.
- Educate yourself about your illness. Learn about the medical tests you get and your treatment plan.
- Ask a trusted family member or friend to be your advocate (advisor or supporter).
- Know what medicines you take and why you take them. Medicine errors are the most common health care mistakes.
- Use a hospital, clinic, surgery center, or other types of health care organization that has been carefully checked out. For example, The Joint Commission visits hospitals to see if they are meeting The Joint Commission’s quality standards
- Participate in all decisions about your treatment. You are the center of the health care team.