As a member of your health care team, you play an important role in your care. Research shows that patients who are involved in their health care decisions have better outcomes. Therefore, it is important to stay informed, ask questions and speak up if you have any concerns.
To help prevent health care errors, patients are encouraged to become involved in their care by doing the following:
Speak up if you have questions or concerns. If you still do not understand, ask again. It is your body and you have a right to know.
Pay attention to the care you receive. Always make sure you are getting the right treatments and medications by the right health care professionals. Do not assume anything.
Educate yourself about your illness. Learn about the medical tests you receive and your treatment plan.
Ask a trusted family member or friend to be your advocate (advisor or supporter).
Know what medicines 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 been carefully reviewed and accredited. View our Accreditation page for more information.
Participate in all decisions about your treatment. You are the center of the health care team.