Learn what you can do before, during, or after your medical appointment to get the best care. Being an active an engaged member of your health care team is important.
How Can I Get the Best Health Care?
Read more to learn how you can be an active and engaged member of your health care team.
Learn about medical errors
Tips to avoid medical errors
Learn about health care associated infections
Tips to prevent health care associated infections
What Can You Do Before You Receive Health Care?
Prepare for your medical visit-be informed about your condition, know your medical history, and know the medications you are take.
To make good decisions about your care, you need to be able to find and understand information about health care services.
Learn how to be a more engaged patient
Learn how to be a more informed patient
Learn how to find reliable online health information
Learn how to become more health literate
Be prepared for your hospital stay
Learn what to do before being admitted
Be prepared for your surgery
Learn what to do before your surgery
Quick tips to prepare for surgery
Getting ready for surgery
Know your medical history
Your health information—the medicines you're taking, your allergies, your family history, what illnesses or surgeries you have had-is what makes you medically unique, and can affect your treatment. The one thing you forget to mention could be the detail that might save your life.
One way to keep track of your medical history is to create a personal medical record that keeps all of your medical information in one place.
Learn about personal medical records
Use this tool to create your own personal medical record
Know your medications
It's important for you to know the medications you take. Take a list or a bag with your medicines when you visit the doctor, pharmacy, or hospital. It's important your health care provider knows which drugs you take and that it's safe to take them together. Be sure you understand your medications by talking with your doctor or pharmacist. Make sure you know any side effects and interactions with other drugs for any medications you are taking.
Use this pill card to be prepared for your next medical visit.
Learn more about taking medications safely
Tips for taking medications safely
Tips for make sure you get the right medicine
Use this guide to make sure you understand your medications.
Update your pill card to include new medications.
What Can You Do During Your Medical Visit?
The most important thing you can do to get good care is to talk. Talk to your doctor, talk to your nurse, and talk to other health care workers. It's also a great idea to repeat any instructions you receive back to the doctor, just to make sure you understand.
Ask questions and make sure you understand the answers. Patients who ask questions get better quality health care and can get better results.
Tips on how to communicate with your provider
Learn the right questions to ask
Learn how to complain and be heard
Use this tool to build your own list of questions to take with you
Bring someone with you
Almost half of all adults have some difficulty understanding health information, and in the doctor's office you may not remember or understand everything. Try bringing someone with you to the doctor's office or the hospital to help ask question or take notes.
Learn why a health advocate can be helpful
Listen to this podcast on when a medical advocate might be helpful
What Can You Do After Your Medical Visit, Hospital Stay, or Surgery?
After a medical visit, hospital stay or surgery, there are lots of things you need to do to take good care of yourself. Make sure you understand the next steps after any medical visit.
After a hospital stay
Use this guide to make sure you are prepared to go home after a hospital visit
Learn what you can do to avoid going back to the hospital
Watch this video to make sure you are prepared to leave the hospital
Learn what to do after your surgery
Learn about pain management after surgery
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