TakeCHARGE; 5 Steps to Safer Health Care
TakeCHARGE: 5 Steps to Safer Health Care is a public awareness campaign with significant potential to improve patient safety. We encourage people to become informed, active participants with their healthcare team by taking 5 Steps to Safer Health Care!
Step # 1 Understand & Complete Your Advance Directives
If a young person is leaving home for college or any reason and does not have a complete and signed healthcare proxy form, there is no one who can speak for them if they can’t speak for themselves even temporarily. Everyone, of any age should have a proxy.
For example, if you’re on a ventilator, who will help make your decisions?
Step #2 Keep a Record of Your Medical History & Current Medications
Medications may cause interactions, behavior changes and new symptoms. Keeping your own, updated record can help your medical team know how best to treat you.
Remembering your diagnosis can be difficult and your health provider may forget to call with test results. Keep your own records which saves you from forgetting to telling your doctor what was done. This will also help with billing questions.
Step # 3 Prepare for Doctor Visits / Make A List of Questions
Need a flu shot? Want to ask about the results of your blood work or another medical test? Have a new symptom that you want to discuss? Don’t count on your memory Time with doctors is often limited. Be ready with your list. Be prepared!
Step # 4 Prevent Infections / Ask Medical Providers and Caregivers to Wash Their Hands
They may forget or say they washed already. If you feel better having your caregiver wash in front of you, ask. They may touch the doorknob, open drawers, touch a clip board or even touch your clothing. Before putting on gloves or touching you, ask them to wash in front of you. This is respectful and builds trust between you and your provider.
Step # 5 Use an Advocate / Be an Advocate for Others
An advocate can be a family member or friend, a support person or caregiver. Being an advocate means that someone is watching out for you and your best interest at your most vulnerable time and you will do the same for someone else. An advocate can help with steps one through four and even organize more of a support system for the patient.
You can also become a sponsor of The TakeCHARGE Campaign – contact us to learn more!
TakeCHARGE is a grassroot national campaign sponsored by Pulse Center for Patient Safety Education & Advocacy AKA Pulse of NY- Please join and partner with us! www.TakeCHARGE.care