If you have a choice, choose a hospital at which many patients have the procedure or surgery you need
Research shows that patients tend to have better results when they are treated in hospitals that have a great deal of experience with their condition. Take your medicines and the list of your medications with you when you go to the hospital.
Your doctors and nurses will need to know what you're taking, then send your medicines home with your family. While you're in the hospital, any medications you need will be provided by the hospital. If your doctor prescribes medications for you to take while in the hospital, tell your doctor you want to know the name of each medication and the reason you are taking it. Before you take any medicine in the hospital, look at it. If it doesn't look like what you usually take, ask why. It might be a generic drug or it might be the wrong drug.
Ask the same questions you would ask if you were in the pharmacy. Do not let anyone give you medications without checking your hospital ID bracelet every time.
This helps prevent you from getting someone else's medications. Before any test or procedure, ask if it will require any dyes or medicines. Remind your nurse and doctor if you have allergies. If you are in a hospital, consider asking all health care workers who have direct contact with you whether they have washed their hands.
Hand washing is an important way to prevent the spread of infections in hospitals. Yet it is not done regularly or thoroughly enough. A recent study found that when patients checked whether health care workers washed their hands, the workers washed their hands more often and used more soap. When you are being discharged from the hospital, ask your doctor or nurse to explain the treatment plan you will use at home.
This includes learning about your medicines and finding out when you can get back to your regular activities. Research shows that at discharge time, doctors think their patients understand more than they really do about what they should or should not do when they return home. When you're ready to go home, have the doctor or nurse write the purpose for the medication on the prescription. Many drug names look alike when written poorly. Knowing the purpose helps you and the pharmacist double check the prescription. Protect your health:
- Your medications
- Hospital Stays
- Home Health
- Other Steps You Can Take