Patient Safety - The Patient's Role
As a patient, you can play a vital role in making your care safe by
becoming an active, involved and informed participant in your health
Speak up if you have concerns. It's okay to ask questions and to
expect answers you can understand.
Choose a doctor who you feel comfortable talking to about your
health and treatment.
Don't be afraid to ask about safety.
Don't be afraid to tell the nurse or doctor if you think you are
about to receive the wrong medication or you think he or she has
confused you with another patient.
Notice whether your caregivers have washed their hands or used
the alcohol hand cleaner. Hand hygiene is the most important way
to prevent the spread of infections. Don't be afraid to gently
remind a doctor or nurse to do this.
Keep a list of all medications you take.
Tell your doctor and pharmacist about all the medicines you
take, including over-the-counter medicines, supplements and
herbs, and any drug allergies you have.
Make sure you get the results of all tests and procedures.
Educate yourself about your diagnosis, the medical tests you are
undergoing and your treatment plan. Some resources are the
McLaren Port Huron Lang Library which you can reach by calling
810.987.5000, extension 5107; the HealthAccess toll-free
information line at 1.800.228.1484 or locally at 989.3199, or by
accessing the health library (link) here on our website. Another
helpful online source is www.labtestsonline.org, a public
resource on clinical lab testing.
Thoroughly read all medical forms and make sure you understand
them before you sign anything. If you don't understand
something, ask your doctor.
Ask a trusted family member or freind to be with you and to be
You might consider creating a durable power of attorney for
healthcare document. Forms are available from your nurse or
patient advocate if you are already in the hospital or online at
the State of Michigan website:
Click here to read about Planning
for Your Peace of Mind. The eight page portion on advance
directives begins on page 33.
Active Involvement in Care
Participate in all decisions about your treatment. You are the
center of your healthcare plan.
You and your doctor should agree on what will be done during
Know who is caring for you.