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 Hospital
All 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. 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 Doctor
Call your doctor if you have concerns about hospital errors.
Singer SJ, Vogus TJ. Reducing hospital errors: interventions that build safety culture. Annu Rev Public Health. 2013;34:373-396.
The Joint Commission. Hospital: 2014 National Patient Safety Goals. Available at: www.jointcommission.org/hap_2014_npsgs. Updated October 24 2014. Accessed October 27, 2014.
Wachter RM. Quality of care and patient safety. In: Goldman L, Schafer AI, eds. Goldman's Cecil Medicine. 24th ed. Philadelphia, PA: Elsevier Saunders; 2012:chap 11.
Laura J. Martin, MD, MPH, ABIM Board Certified in Internal Medicine and Hospice and Palliative Medicine, Atlanta, GA. Also reviewed by David Zieve, MD, MHA, Isla Ogilvie, PhD, and the A.D.A.M. Editorial team.