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Patient Safety

Speak up: Help prevent errors in your care

Everyone has a role in making health care safe — physicians, health care executives, nurses and technicians. Health care organizations across the country are working to make health care safety a priority. You, as the patient, can also play a vital role in making your care safe by becoming an active, involved and informed member of your health care team.

  • Speak up if you have questions or concerns, and if you don't understand, ask again. It's your body and you have a right to know.

  • Pay attention to the care you are receiving. Make sure you're getting the right treatments and medications by the right health care professionals. Don't assume anything.

  • Educate yourself about your diagnosis, the medical tests you are undergoing, and your treatment plan.

  • Ask a trusted family member or friend to be your advocate.

  • Know what medications you take and why you take them. Medication errors are the most common health care mistakes.

  • Use a hospital, clinic, surgery center, or other type of health care organization that has undergone a rigorous on-site evaluation against established, state-of-the-art quality and safety standards, such as that provided by the Joint Commission.

  • Participate in all decisions about your treatment. You are the center of the health care team.

(This information was provided by the Joint Commission on Accreditation of Healthcare Organizations.)