Safety is a priority for your doctor and the other healthcare professionals involved in your treatment. In fact, everyone involved — including you — has a role in ensuring that your medical care is safe and effective.
“Patient Safety: It Takes a Team” promotes the cooperation between doctor, patient, nurses, and hospital staff that is necessary for safe, successful surgeries. There are many things patients can do to become active members of their healthcare teams, such as:
- Ask questions — be sure to speak up when you need more information from your TOCA physician.
- Involve a friend or family member in your care.
- Be able to discuss your medical history — such as past surgeries, major illnesses, and family history of medical problems.
- Keep a complete, accurate list of all your medications, including over-the-counter medications, vitamins, and nutritional supplements.
- Tell your healthcare team about your allergies and any past reactions to anesthesia or medications.
- Ask your doctor for educational resources to help you better understand your condition and treatment options.
Communication Is the Cornerstone to Patient Safety
- Open, honest communication with your doctor and medical team will help you become better informed about your treatment and the expected results.
- The more information you have about your health care, the better equipped you are to make decisions that are best for you.
- Always be honest and complete when talking with your doctor. Information that seems incidental to you may be important to your doctor and medical team.
- Ask questions. It is common to forget some things we want to talk about with our doctors. The best thing to do is make a list.
- Speak up when you do not understand. If there is a language difference, or if you cannot hear or see very well, make sure you tell your doctor and medical team.
- Know the best way to reach your doctor after hours, such as by phone or e-mail.
Your Office Visit
Your visit with a TOCA Orthopedic Physician is an important meeting that can be most effective if you plan ahead. It is important that you give your doctor the information he needs and that you understand what your doctor is recommending.
Come prepared. Write down your concerns about your condition, such as pain or loss of mobility. Make accurate written lists, including:
- All your medications, including all prescriptions, over-the-counter medications, and nutritional herbal and vitamin supplements
- Any surgeries you have had and when they occurred
- Any family medical problems
- All of your allergies (rash, hives, swelling) or unexpected reactions (nausea, drowsiness) to medications
- Take notes during your appointment and ask questions if you do not understand something, such as the reason for your doctor’s recommendations, or the instructions for taking medication.
- Ask your doctor for handouts or brochures so that you can learn about your condition and treatment options. Your doctor may also refer you to a website for more information.
If you have any questions regarding your care or medical condition, do not hesitate to contact a TOCA staff member through our social messaging, via email or call 602-277-6211!