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Tips for a Safer Hospital Stay

Here are 10 tips for safer treatment:

Make sure that your caregivers have the correct information about you, including current medications, allergies, procedure to be done, and your treatment plan.

Fully discuss your diagnosis so that you understand your options. Keep asking questions until you have a clear understanding of your condition and the recommended treatment

Ask a friend or family member to be present to advocate for you, ask questions, and take notes.

Make sure your doctor has copies of your living will (if you have one) and durable power of attorney, and ask to see your chart to confirm your wishes are noted.

Ask nurses to confirm medications and dosages before you take them.

Ask your surgeon and/or nurses about infection prevention techniques for your operation.

Ask for help if you need to walk somewhere.

Make sure you understand your treatment plan at the time of discharge. Don’t sign any papers until you understand. And do not leave until you have a phone number to contact for further questions.

Pay attention to your body and ask for help if something does not seem right.

Ask questions until you understand. Speak up if you are uncertain or worried.

6 Keys to Consider Before Surgery

Here are 6 important keys to consider before surgery:

1 Ask until you understand.
Learn everything you can about your condition, the surgical procedure you will be undergoing, and best practices for recovery and discuss these with your caregivers. You’ll find useful information and links on our web site, www.mainequalityforum.gov.

2 Prepare a list of questions for your doctor or specialist.
Write down any questions you have for your doctor in advance. Bring a pad and pencil to your appointment and write down his or her responses. Ask for a list of resources (e.g. books, pamphlets, web sites) where you can learn more

3 Bring a friend or family member to your medical appointments.
In addition to writing down questions, you may find it less stressful to designate a friend or family member as the person who gathers the information. That person should accompany you into all examinations and follow-ups with your doctor or specialist

4 Make sure you understand your treatment options.
There may be more than one treatment or procedure that’s appropriate for your condition. Take the time to understand all of your options so you can make an informed decision. Call on friends and family members to discuss your options and help you gather information

5 Discuss hospital selection with your physician.
When you’re considering selection criteria, learn about your options and understand the hospital’s experience in your procedure and their safety record. Check out www.mainequalityforum.gov, then choose Doctor/Hospital.

6 Consent to your treatment.
Make sure that you and your surgeon agree on the operation to be performed. Do not consent to treatment until you have a clear understanding. Keep asking questions until you understand


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