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Patient Safety Awareness Week: March 2-8, 2014!

March 2-8, 2014, is Patient Safety Awareness Week, established by the National Patient Safety Foundation (NPSF), which supports “Creating a world where patients and those who care for them are free from harm.” The National Library of Medicine (NLM) supports the work to keep patients and healthcare providers free from harm by making available quality health information. Following is information from the NLM MedlinePlus Patient Safety health topic Web page that describes actions patients can take:

You can help prevent medical errors by being an active member of your health care team. Research shows that patients who are more involved with their care tend to get better results. To reduce the risk of medical errors, you can:

  • Ask questions if you have doubts or concerns. Take a relative or friend to your doctor appointment to help you ask questions and understand answers.
  • Make sure you understand what will happen if you need surgery.
  • Tell your health care provider(s) about all the medicines you take, including over-the-counter drugs and dietary supplements. Tell them if you have any allergies or bad reactions to anesthesia. Make sure you know how to take your medications correctly.
  • Get a second opinion about treatment options.
  • Keep a copy of your own health history.

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