Women’s College Hospital is committed to patient safety. We invite you to join us in making your care as safe as possible. Here are some tips to help you become part of the patient safety team.
As a patient, you need to understand the health care you receive so you feel comfortable with treatment options, instructions or advice.
- write questions down in advance and take notes when meeting with health-care providers
- ask your health-care provider to explain your condition in simple words if you don't understand
- ask what you can or need to do to help your symptoms or condition
- ask your health-care team about your medications if you are required to get a test or treatment, ask for the details
Talk about your health
Tell your health-care provider about:
- previous treatments or surgeries, current medications and any other health concerns
- all of your medications, herbal supplements and vitamins – or bring them with you to your appointment
- care or treatment you are receiving from other doctors or health-care professionals
- any chronic conditions, such as high blood pressure, diabetes or allergies
- any adverse reactions or allergies to previous medications
- any family health conditions any symptoms, discomfort or anything that doesn't feel 'quite right'
Listen and learn about your health
When talking to your health-care professional, listen to what he or she is saying:
- keep a journal in which you record details about your treatment and care, including medications that you take, tests you have received, and any symptoms you have
- bring someone with you to your appointments and ask that they write important information down for you
Become actively involved
Become actively involved in preventing incidents and infections:
- wash your hands carefully after bathroom visits or handling soiled materials
- ask your health-care providers and visitors to wash their hands
- ask relatives and visitors not to accompany you if they are ill
- make sure all health-care providers confirm your identity
- ensure medications given to you are the correct dosages
- ask about oral medicines before you swallow them; ask about the contents of IV bags and ask to see the labels
- if having surgery, talk with your doctor and surgeon to agree on the procedure, and ask that the area to be operated on be clearly marked
- tell us if you have special needs, such as assistance in walking or getting up
Please remember that safety starts with all of us. By taking an active part in your own care, you will make a big difference in ensuring your safety.
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