- Take a complete list of all your medications with you when you go to the hospital, and make sure the nurses and doctors have it (and know they have it!) before you take any new medications.
- Even if you're on a regular drug regimen, don't take any medication when you're in the hospital unless your doctor specifically authorizes it.
- Have the doctor or floor nurse check your hospital ID bracelet before he or she gives you any medication, every time. She hands out 600 pills a night. More hospitals are using barcode scanners on I.D. bracelets to double-check prescription orders. In fact, the Joint Commission requires health care workers to use at least two patient identifiers when administering your medications (neither can be your room number) to make certain that they are providing the right medication to the right patient.
- If you have to have a procedure or test that requires taking additional medicine or ingesting dye, remind your doctor, nurse, or technician of any allergies you have.
- Before you leave the hospital, review any drugs you're still taking with the doctor, nurse, or pharmacist.
Find out more about this book:YOU: The Smart Patient: An Insider's Handbook for Getting the Best Treatment