Pursuing Excellent Patient Care

Patient Safety

Recognizing Patient Safety Awareness Week, March 6-12, 2011

During Patient Safety Awareness Week, take a few minutes to consider the important steps you can take to participate with your health care professionals in receiving excellent care and the right treatment solution:

  • Review your medical history – when consulting with a health care provider during an office visit or urgent care situation, provide as many details as possible about your medical history, symptoms, possible contributing issues or concerns; cooperate with the doctor and other health professionals during a physical exam and any tests they may order to assist them with their evaluation
  • Offer details on medications – provide a full list of prescription medications and over-the-counter vitamins and drugs you take, as well as any other home remedies you have followed
  • Listen and communicate – for the best treatment solution, listen carefully to the questions and information that health care professionals discuss with you; clearly share appropriate information

  • Learn and be assertive – make sure you are part of every decision related to your care; research your condition and treatment options; research shows that individuals who understand their care get better results
  • Ask questions for clarification – often people feel intimidated when talking with health care professionals and are hesitant to ask questions to clarify the information or treatment plan, but you must be an advocate in your own care; request information and ask questions until you are comfortable with the diagnosis and treatment options

Remember, you have an important role in working with health care professionals to find the right solution for your concerns.

In a health care situation, how do you interact with those providing the treatment and care? What advice would you share with others in this situation? – Karen Gustin, Ameritas Group