You Are Part of the Team
Our goal at Novant Health Prince William Medical Center is to keep you safe while you are under our care. You can help by remembering this safety guide:
S peak up
A sk questions
F ollow up
E ducate yourself
T alk with your caregivers
Y ou are part of the team.
Speak up if you have questions or concerns. If you don't understand something, ask.
- Your health is too important to worry about being embarrassed. If you don't understand what your doctor, nurse or other healthcare professional tells you—speak up!
- If you think your caregiver has confused you with another patient, don't hesitate to speak up.
- Hand washing is the number one way to stop the spread of infection in hospitals. We always wash our hands before caring for each patient. Feel free to ask your caregiver if they have washed their hands.
- To ensure proper identification, we always check the patient's identification bracelet before giving medication or performing procedures. Speak Up and ask your caregiver to check your ID bracelet if they haven't already.
Ask questions about your care. Verify that you are getting the right treatment and medications.
- Expect healthcare professionals to introduce themselves when they enter your room. If they don't, ask to see their ID badge.
- If you are unfamiliar with a medication, ask the nurse for the name and purpose of the medication. If you have doubts whether a medication is for you, ask the nurse to verify it.
- Ask about the healthcare organization's experience in treating your type of illness. How frequently do they perform the procedure you need? What specialized care do they provide in helping patients get well?
Follow up on all aspects of your care.
- If your healthcare professional has not provided you with results of your tests, follow up and ask them to check on it. Don't assume that no news is good news.
- Ask your healthcare professional to explain all of the follow-up care that you will need after you leave the hospital and how you can obtain that care.
Educate yourself about your diagnosis, medical procedures and qualifications of your healthcare team.
- Ask your doctor about the specialized training and experience that qualifies him or her to treat your illness.
- Gather information about your condition. Good sources include your doctor, your library, respected websites and support groups.
- Thoroughly read all medical forms and verify that you understand them before you sign anything. If you don't understand, ask your doctor or nurse to explain them.
- Learn all you can about your medications such as names, doses, side effects and interactions with other medications.
Talk with your caregivers about your current and past state of health and the medications you are taking.
- It is important for your healthcare team to know as much about you as possible. Don’t leave out anything, even if something seems unimportant.
- Take along a list of your medications when you go to the hospital. It is important for your doctors and nurses to know what you are taking.
- If you are having surgery, verify that you and the healthcare professionals treating you agree and are clear on exactly what will be done. As you discuss this with your team, mark the site of your surgery with a marker. Ask your doctor or nurse to help you with this.
- If possible, have a family member or friend come with you to be your advocate (someone who can speak for you if you are unable).
- Tell your doctor or nurse about all of your allergies and remind them of your allergies when you receive a medication for the first time.
You are part of the team.
- Participate in all decisions about your treatment. You are the center of the healthcare team.
- You and your doctor should agree on exactly what will be done during each step of your care.
- When you are in the hospital, review your plan of care with your doctor and nurse.