How to Be a Safe Patient, Explained in 10 GIFs

March marks Patient Safety Month, and while there is an abundance of information for healthcare professionals, we thought it would be helpful to give you a list of tips you can follow.

patient safety

These will put patient safety in your own hands and prevent medical errors by being an active member of your healthcare team.

Here are our top 10 things you can do to ensure your safety as a patient, represented by GIFs:

  1. Consolidate your health, medicine and allergy information into a personal health record like MyIHR that you can take to all of your doctor’s appointments to get all your health care providers on the same page.

  1. Learn about your condition by asking your doctor and nurse and by using other reliable sources. No need to self-diagnose, but definitely get informed.

  1. If you are being discharged from the hospital, ask your doctor to explain the treatment plan you will follow at home, and make sure you can repeat it in your own terms.

  1. Get to know your prescription. Make sure you can read what your doctor wrote and that you know how long you’re supposed to take it, what the side effects are, and what you should eat/avoid while on it.

  1. Ask your pharmacist for the best device to measure your liquid medicine. Not everyone has Mary Poppins at home to administer an exact teaspoon.

  1. When at a doctor’s office or hospital, make sure you frequently wash your hands and have others do so as well. Thorough hand washing can prevent the spread of infections.

  1. If you are going in for a treatment, make sure you know how to change your regular medication routine.

  1. If you have a choice, choose a hospital where many patients have had the procedure or surgery you need. Practice makes perfect for hospital staff, too.

  1. Know that “more” is not always better. Sometimes one more test or procedure or adding on a new medication is not the only way to get the result you want.

  1. Wear a medical ID that has your condition, medications, allergies and contact information. In the case of an emergency this will go a long way toward helping you get the most accurate treatment.

Source: Agency for Healthcare Research and Quality

As American Medical ID's Marketing Specialist, Shannon manages company social media channels and print marketing. Shannon is a Texas Native and attended the University of Texas at San Antonio where she majored in Marketing. She enjoys traveling the world, going to the lake with her family and spending time with her adorable Shih Tzu, Teddy!

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