National Patient Safety week is March 11th – March 17th.
Why is Patient Safety So Important? While health care has become more effective it has also become more complex, with greater use of new medicines and treatments. A study completed by Johns Hopkins calculated that more than 250,000 deaths per year are due to medical errors, which makes this the third leading cause of death in the United States.
Patients and their families are essential partners in the effort to improve the quality and safety of health care. Their participation as active members of their own health care team is an essential component of making care safer.
Asking questions can help you to better understand your own health and you can become an active member of your own healthcare team.
The National Patient Safety Institute recommends all patients “ASK ME 3” questions:
- What is my main problem?
- What do I need to do?
- Why is it important for me to do this?
When to ask questions:
- When you see a doctor, nurse, pharmacist or other health care provider
- You prepare for a medical test or procedure
- You get your medicine
What if I ask and Still Don’t Understand?
- Let your health care provider know if you still don’t understand what you need to do.
- You might say, “This is new to me. Will you please explain that to me one more time?”
Who needs to ask these 3 questions?
- Everyone wants help with health information. You are not alone if you find things confusing at times. Asking questions helps you understand how to stay well or to get better.
ASK ME 3® is a campaign led by the Institute for Healthcare Improvement. For more information, view the video below.