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EMPOWER Yourself!

As a healthcare consumer, it's important that you take ownership of your care. As a patient in our hospital, you play a vital role in making your care safe by becoming active, involved and an informed member of your healthcare team. You can help ensure the best possible experience while in our care.

Educate yourself about your condition, the medical tests you are undergoing and your treatment options. Ask questions – get answers.

  • Collect information about your condition from your doctor, health resource center or respected website.
  • Write down important facts your doctor tells you so that you can look for additional information later.

Make sure that the doctor, nurse or other staff member checks your wristband before giving you medicine, performing a test or drawing your blood.

  • Know what medications you are taking and why you take them.
  • Be familiar with what your medications look like and question your care provider if it looks different.
  • If something doesn't seem right, speak up – you have a voice in your care.

Participate in all decisions about your treatment.

  • Keep a notebook with information on your medications, medical history and questions and answers from your healthcare team.
  • You and your doctor should agree on what will be done during each step of your care.

Own your health – you, a family member or friend are your best advocate.

  • Your designated advocate can ask questions that you may not think of while you are under stress.
  • A social worker, nurse or chaplain may also be very helpful.

Work with your healthcare team including physicians, nurses and other staff members by becoming an active and involved participant.

  • Your health is important – don't worry about being embarrassed if you don't understand something that your care provider tells you.
  • Remember, it's your body and you have the right to know.

Each member of your healthcare team needs to know the big picture.

  • Although the team routinely meets to discuss your care and treatment, anything you can add will help – no one knows you better than you do.
  • Let it be your job to help keep everyone on the team informed.

Remember, patients who take part in decisions about their health care are more likely to have better outcomes and enjoy a healthier quality of life.