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  • Patient Safety Tips

  • A hospital stay can be a disorienting event. There's a strange bed, strange people, nurses and doctors in and out, and on top of that, a patient is supposed to remember medications, doses, allergies and symptoms.

    Before checking into a hospital for an extended stay or an outpatient procedure, here are some tips to make the experience a little bit easier.

    • Bring all medications in original bottles.
    • Make a list of all medications, dosages and who prescribed them.
      • A printer-friendly medication form is available to download, fill out and bring in to show what has already been prescribed. Download it here.
      • Note all non-prescription medications (over-the-counter products), vitamins/supplements, herbal remedies, creams and balms.
    • Bring a list of all your allergies.
    • Bring a list of all the surgeries you've had and the approximate dates you've had them.
    • Bring ID, Social Security card, health insurance card, Medicaid or Medicare card (if applicable).
    • Bring a spouse's, or other emergency contact's, home and work numbers.
    • Make sure the hospital has the name of your primary care physician and your favorite pharmacy's phone number.
    • Know the name of the physician who referred you to the hospital (if applicable).

    Questions to Ask

    • Will I be staying and for how long?
    • What are the names of the doctors and nurses I will be seeing?
    • What medications will I be given? What are the risks and benefits of each?
    • Will the hospital send a report to me personal physician?
    • What should I do after I leave the hospital?
    • What are the checkout procedures?

    Tips for Families and Visitors

    • Do not bring food to a patient without first checking with a nurse.
    • Do not bring medications (over-the-counter or otherwise) to a patient.
    • Wear appropriate attire.
    • Do not bring large groups into a shared room.
    • Use polite language and keep conversations quiet.
    • Do not leave valuables with patients.