Healthcare providers, the government, and many other groups are working hard to improve healthcare quality. As a patient or family member of a patient, you also have a role to play in making sure you receive the best quality care possible. This section of PatientCareLink offers access to a wide range of reliable websites where you can find useful tools and resources to help you become an active participant in your care. By asking questions and being prepared, you can help make care delivery safer. The resources are divided into the following topics to make it easier to find what you're looking for:
- AHRQ's Questions Are The Answer
- Medication Safety
- Choosing A Doctor
- Choosing A Hospital
- Preparing For Your Hospital Stay
- After Your Hospital Stay: Preventing a Readmission
- Reducing Healthcare Associated Infections
- Falls Prevention
- Becoming An Active & Informed Patient On The Healthcare Team
- Healthcare Planning Throughout your Life
- Patient's Personal Discharge Checklist
In Massachusetts, all patients with serious advancing illness have a legal right to receive information about their medical conditions, their likely outcome ("prognosis"), and their full range of options for care. This enables patients or their advocates to make informed decisions about healthcare choices that reflect each person's goals, values, wishes, and needs. This guide outlines the types of choices that patients have when they're going through treatment for a serious, life-limiting illness.
The DPH Know Your Choices materials, which are available in 10 languages (Arabic, Cape Verdean, Chinese, English, Haitian Creole, Khmer, Portuguese, Russian, Spanish, and Vietnamese), are all posted on DPH's website (www.mass.gov/dph/eol).
Agency for Healthcare Research and Quality (AHRQ) - Free Tips and Tools to Engage Patients in Health Care
Research shows that patients who have a good relationship with their clinicians receive better care and are happier with their care. AHRQ offers free resources to help patients prepare for medical appointments, ask questions, and talk with their doctor and other members of the health care team. Care providers can use these materials to foster patient engagement and improve care delivery:
- A short, easy-to-read brochure with tips to help patients be prepared before, during, and after medical appointments.
- Seven minute waiting room video that features patients and clinicians discussing the importance of asking questions and sharing information.
- Notepads to help patients prioritize their questions before their visit.
The American Hospital Association (AHA), along with six national partners, this week released a toolkit to help hospitals and health systems enhance their antimicrobial stewardship programs. The toolkit includes resources for hospital leaders, clinicians and patients, starting with a tool developed by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) to help hospitals assess their readiness for optimal antibiotic prescribing and use.
The purpose of this guide is to provide evidence based information for older adults, family members and health care providers for seniors in the area of falls prevention. The goal is to raise awareness of known risk factors for falls in older adults and practical steps for reducing these risks. Falls in older adults are most often due to multiple risk factors, but these risk factors are different for each older adult. Therefore, this guide can be used as a communication tool between older adults and their health care practitioners to identify the individual fall risk factors present and develop an individualized plan to reduce these risks. Finally, this guide identifies other resources available for older adults and their caregivers to obtain additional information about fall risk reduction and fall prevention.
PatientCareLink's Hospital Data:
This hospital is a member of the Partnership for Patients, a nationwide effort to improve safety for patients in 3,700 hospitals across the country.
Part of the Affordable Care Act, the project is expected to result in 60,000 lives saved, 1.8 million fewer injuries, and 1.6 million people recovering from illness without complication
and need for readmission to the hospital, with an estimated cost savings of $35 billion from 2011-2014.