" For patients information "
Patients SafetyApollo Medical Centre (AMC) is committed to patient safety. Patient Safety is a team effort involving not only your doctor, nurses and other healthcare professionals but yourself as well. When everyone works together the patient ultimately benefits.
One way that we are improving patient safety at AMC is with our integrated medical records. These online patient records are immediately available to any doctor within our system, so that your treatment plan can be as up-to-date as possible.
The following are a series of patient resources designed to better inform you and better prepare you to become a team member in your own care. We highly encourage you to take the time to review this material and ask questions of your other health team members.
Hand washing & Patient SafetyGerms and bacteria exist at home, at work, and in hospitals. All hospitals work hard to prevent you from getting an infection while you are in the hospital. The spread of germs is a possibility in any hospital, and is believed to cause thousands of infections every year. Two million people each year become ill as a result of a hospital-acquired infection. Proper hand hygiene is critical to the prevention of these infections - which contribute to the death of nearly 90,000 hospital patients per year and $4.5 billion in medical expenses.
What you can do?Here are some important guidelines.
- Expect our staff to clean their hands before providing patient care. It is OK to ask if they have or request that they do so if they forget.
- Visitors to wash hands or use sanitizers before entering and when leaving medical centre.
- Avoid touching anything used for patient care.
- Read and follow any information posted in the medical centre.
- Always cover a sneeze or cough with a tissue or your upper arm.
Patient safety - When talking with your doctor
The single most important way you can stay healthy is to be an active member of your own health care team. One way to get high-quality health care is to find and use information and take an active role in all of the decisions made about your care. This information will help you when talking with your doctor.
Research has shown that patients who have good relationships with their doctors tend to be more satisfied with their care, and to have better results. Here are some tips to help you and your doctor become partners in improving your health care.
Give Information. Don't Wait to Be Asked!
- You know important things about your symptoms and your health history. Tell your doctor what you think he or she needs to know.
- It is important to tell your doctor personal information, even if it makes you feel embarrassed or uncomfortable.
- Bring a "health history" list with you, and keep it up to date. You might want to make a copy of the form for each member of your family.
- Always bring any medicines you are taking, or a list of those medicines (include when and how often you take them) and what strength. Talk about any allergies or reactions you have had to your medicines.
- Tell your doctor about any herbal products you use or alternative medicines or treatments you receive.
- Bring other medical information, such as x-ray films, test results, and medical records.
- Ask questions. If you don't, your doctor may think you understand everything that was said.
- Write down your questions before your visit. List the most important ones first to make sure they get asked and answered.
- You might want to bring someone along to help you ask questions. This person can also help you understand and/or remember the answers.
- Ask your doctor to draw pictures if that might help to explain something.
- Take notes.
- Some doctors do not mind if you bring a tape recorder to help you remember things. But always ask first.
- Let your doctor know if you need more time. If there is not time that day, perhaps you can speak to a nurse or physician assistant on staff. Or, ask if you can call later to speak with someone.
- Ask if your doctor has washed his or her hands before starting to examine you. Research shows that hand washing can prevent the spread of infections. If you're uncomfortable asking this question directly, you might ask, "I've noticed that some doctors and nurses wash their hands or wear gloves before touching people. Why is that?"
Take Information Home
- Ask for written instructions.
- Your doctor also may have brochures and audio tapes and videotapes that can help you. If not, ask how you can get such materials.
Once You Leave the Doctor's Office, Follow Up
- If you have questions, call.
- If your symptoms get worse, or if you have problems with your medicine, call.
- If you had tests and do not hear from your doctor, call for your test results.
- If your doctor said you need to have certain tests, make appointments at the lab or other offices to get them done.
- If your doctor said you should see a specialist, make an appointment.
Tips for using medications safely
Bring a list or a bag with all your medicines when you go to your doctor's office.
Include all prescription and over-the-counter medicines, vitamins, and herbal supplements that you use. If your doctor prescribes a new medicine, ask if it is safe to use with your other medicines. Remind your doctor and pharmacist if you are allergic to any medicines.
Ask questions about your medicines
Ask questions and make sure you understand the answers. Choose a pharmacist and doctor you feel comfortable talking with about your health and medicines. Take a relative or friend with you to ask questions and remind you about the answers later. Write down the answers.
Make sure your medicine is what the doctor ordered
Does the medicine seem different than what your doctor wrote on the prescription or look different than what you expected? Does a refill look like it is a different shape, color, or size than what you were given before? If something seems wrong, ask the pharmacist to doublecheck it. Most errors are first found by patients.
Ask how to use the medicine correctly
Read the directions on the label and other information you get with your medicine. Have the pharmacist or doctor explain anything you do not understand. Are there other medicines, foods, or activities (such as driving, drinking alcohol, or using tobacco) that you should avoid while using the medicine? Ask if you need lab tests to check how the medicine is working or to make sure it doesn't cause harmful side effects.
Ask about possible side effects
Side effects can occur with many medicines. Ask your doctor or pharmacist what side effects to expect and which ones are serious. Some side effects may bother you but will get better after you have been using the medicine for a while. Call your doctor right away if you have a serious side effect or if a side effect does not get better. A change in the medicine or the dose may be needed.
Simple checks could save your life!
Patient safety - When Getting a PrescriptionThe single most important way you can stay healthy is to be an active member of your own health care team. One way to get high-quality health care is to find and use information and take an active role in all of the decisions made about your care.
This information will help you when getting a prescription filled
Understanding the importance your medication plays in your treatment will help you get the most benefit from your prescription. It is important to take an active role in your health care by working with your doctor, nurse, and pharmacist to learn as much as possible about your prescription.
When you are prescribed a new medication, ask your doctor or pharmacist the following questions:
- What is the name of the medicine? What is it supposed to do?
- Is it okay to substitute a less-expensive generic medicine for the name brand? Will it achieve the same effect?
- What is the dose of the medicine? Are there food, drinks, other medicines, or activities I should avoid while taking this medicine?
- What are the possible side effects of the medicine? What should I do if they occur?
- How many refills of this prescription can I get?
- What should I do if I miss a dose?
- What should I do if I accidentally take more than the recommended dose?
- Is there any written information I can take home with me? (Most pharmacies have information sheets that you can use as an at-home reference.)
When your doctor prescribes a medication for you for the first time, make sure to tell him or her the following:
- The names of all medicines you are currently taking, including both over-the-counter and prescription medication. It is important for your doctor to know this information in order to prescribe the medicine that will be the most helpful.
- Any concerns you have about using your medication.
- If you are allergic to any medication or have had troubling side effects from a medication that has been prescribed to you.
- About any problems you are having with your prescription.
- About any side effects or problems you have had since starting to take the prescription.
- About any new prescriptions that another doctor may have given you and any over-the-counter medicines that you started taking since your last doctor's visit.
Patient Safety - When Getting Medical TestsThe single most important way you can stay healthy is to be an active member of your own health care team. One way to get high-quality health care is to find and use information and take an active role in all of the decisions made about your care.
This information will help you when making decisions about medical tests
Doctors order blood tests, x-rays, and other tests to help diagnose medical problems. Perhaps you do not know why you need a particular test or you don't understand how it will help you. Here are some questions to ask:
- How is the test done?
- What kind of information will the test provide?
- Is this test the only way to find out that information?
- What are the benefits and risks of having this test?
- How accurate is the test?
- What do I need to do to prepare for the test? (What you do or don't do may affect the accuracy of the test results.)
- Will the test be uncomfortable?
- How long will it take to get the results, and how will I get them?
- What's the next step after the test?
- What can you do?
What about the test results?
Do not assume that no news is good news. If you do not hear from your doctor, call to get your test results.
If you and your doctor think the test results may not be right, have the test done again.
Content courtesy of U.S. Agency for Healthcare Research and Quality (AHRQ)