BACK TOTOP Browse A-ZSearchBrowse A-ZABCDEFGHIJKLMNOPQRSTUVWXYZ0-9 E-mail FormEmail ResultsName:Email address:Recipients Name:Recipients address:Message: Print-FriendlyBookmarksbookmarks-menuHelp prevent hospital errors Medical errors - prevention; Patient safety - hospital errorsA hospital error is when there is a mistake in your medical care. Errors can be made in your:Medicines Surgery Diagnosis Equipment Lab and other test reports Hospital errors are a leading cause of death. Doctors, nurses, and all hospital personnel are working to make hospital care safer.Learn what you can do to help prevent medical errors when you are in the hospital. Take an Active Part in Your Health CareDo all you can to help you and your health care providers stay on top of your care:Share your health information with providers in the hospital. Do not think they already know it. Know what tests are being done. Ask what the test is for, ask for test results, and ask what the results mean for your health. Know what your condition is and the plan for treatment. Ask questions when you do not understand. Bring a family member or friend with you to the hospital. They can help get things done if you cannot help yourself. Find a primary care provider to work with you. They can help if you have a lot of health problems or if you are in the hospital. If you are Having Surgery, Help Keep Yourself SafeGo to a hospital you trust.Go to a hospital that does a lot of the type of surgery you are having. You want the doctors and nurses to have a lot of experience with patients like you. Make sure that you and your surgeon know exactly where you are getting your operation. Have the surgeon mark on your body where they will operate. Decrease Your Risk for InfectionRemind family, friends, and providers to wash their hands:When they enter and leave your room Before and after touching you Before and after using gloves After using the bathroom Take Charge of Your MedicinesTell your nurse and doctor about:Any allergies or side effects you have to any medicines. All of the medicines, vitamins, supplements, and herbs you take. Make a list of your medicines to keep in your wallet. Any medicines you brought from home. Do not take your own medicine unless your doctor says it is OK. Tell your nurse if you take your own medicine. Know about the medicine you will get in the hospital. Speak up if you think you are getting the wrong medicine or getting a medicine at the wrong time. Know or ask:Names of the medicines What each medicine does and its side effects What times you should get them in the hospital Help Improve Safety in the HospitalAll medicines should have a label with the name of the medicine on it. All syringes, tubes, bags, and pill bottles should have a label. If you do not see a label, ask your nurse what the medicine is.Ask your nurse if you are taking any high-alert medicine. These medicines can cause harm if they are not given the right way at the right time. A few high-alert medicines are blood thinners, insulin, and narcotic pain medicines. Ask what extra safety steps are being taken. When to Call the DoctorCall your doctor if you have concerns about hospital errors. Open ReferencesReferencesThe Joint Commission website. Hospital: 2020 National Patient Safety Goals. www.jointcommission.org/standards/national-patient-safety-goals/hospital-2020-national-patient-safety-goals/. Updated July 1, 2020. Accessed July 11, 2020.Wachter RM. Quality, safety, and value. In: Goldman L, Schafer AI, eds. Goldman-Cecil Medicine. 26th ed. Philadelphia, PA: Elsevier; 2020:chap 10.AllVideoImagesTogRelated Information Review Date: 7/13/2020 Reviewed By: David C. Dugdale, III, MD, Professor of Medicine, Division of General Medicine, Department of Medicine, University of Washington School of Medicine, Seattle, WA. Also reviewed by David Zieve, MD, MHA, Medical Director, Brenda Conaway, Editorial Director, and the A.D.A.M. Editorial team. The information provided herein should not be used during any medical emergency or for the diagnosis or treatment of any medical condition. A licensed medical professional should be consulted for diagnosis and treatment of any and all medical conditions. Links to other sites are provided for information only -- they do not constitute endorsements of those other sites. © 1997- © 1997- All rights reserved. A.D.A.M. content is best viewed in IE9 or above, Firefox and Google Chrome browser.Content is best viewed in IE9 or above, Firefox and Google Chrome browser.