Physicians and staff at Methodist Hospital are committed to making health care safe. We support the efforts of the "Speak Up" program, sponsored by the Joint Commission on Accreditation of Healthcare Organizations, to increase patient participation in their care. Research has shown that patients who take part in their health care decisions are more likely to be satisfied with the outcomes of that care. So, what can you do while you are a patient?
First, "speak up" if you have questions or concerns, or if you do not understand something that your doctor or nurse tells you. Don't be afraid to ask about safety with medications, procedures or other treatments. If you have surgery, we will take a "time out" to check and double-check the area to be operated on prior to going in the operating room.
Second, pay attention to the care you get. It's OK to remind us to wash our hands when we enter your room. It's OK to ask for the name of the person entering your room. It's OK to tell your doctor or nurse if something doesn't seem quite right.
Third, educate yourself about what illnesses you have, what medications you take, and why you are in the hospital. We have written materials and videos about a number of health care topics. Let us know how you learn best.
Fourth, ask a trusted family member or friend to be your advocate. An advocate is someone who can ask questions, take notes, communicate your wishes, and generally make sure your voice is heard-even when you are too ill to speak.
Fifth, know what medications you take and why you take them. Make a list and keep it with you in your purse, in the glove compartment of your car, or someplace handy. We will be asking you questions about what medications you take at home. Upon discharge, we will be giving you a list of your current medications. Keep that list handy to take to your doctor visits, update it as needed, and then remember to bring it in with you if you return to the hospital at a later date.
Sixth, remember that you are at the center of the health care team. You have a right to ask questions, to make decisions, to learn more about your treatment plans, and to "speak up" if there is anything we can do to assist you.
Once again, welcome to Methodist Hospital: The Next Generation of Care.