Communication can help improve safety

As a patient or family member, it is important that you understand as much as possible about the health care you or your loved one receive. Ask questions until you feel comfortable with any treatment options, instructions or health advice. Also, you should tell your health care providers any important information that will help them provide the best care and avoid any unintended results.

  • Write questions down in advance of your appointment and take notes when meeting with health care providers.
  • Ask what you can or need to do to alleviate symptoms or make your condition better.
  • Ask your doctor, nurse or pharmacist questions about your medications, such as why you are taking the medication, what the side effects are, how the medication will help you, and how and when you should take your medication.
  • Keep a list or journal of your symptoms, your questions and write down answers.
  • Let your doctor know if you are under the treatment or care of any other doctors or healthcare professionals, such as naturopath or herbalist.
  • Let you doctor know if you’ve had any adverse reactions or allergies to previous medications.
  • Talk to your health care provider at the first sign of any discomfort or something that doesn’t feel “quite right”.