Participating in Your Care

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:

Know-Your-Choices--ImageKnow Your Choices

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 (

Preventing Falls in Older Adults

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.

Agency for Healthcare Research & Quality - Free Tips & 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:

Learn more at Questions Are the Answer, Tips & Tools.

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Staying Safe in the Hospital

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.


AHA Issues Antimicrobial Stewardship Toolkit for Hospitals & Patients

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.

  • April 16 was National Healthcare Decisions Day

    April 16 was National Healthcare Decisions Day, which this year passed with little fanfare given the healthcare community’s focus on COVID-19. But the day’s focus on advance care planning – that is, making sure you can receive the medical care you want even if you are not in a position to articulate it yourself – has never been more important. Throughout this month and beyond, provider...» Full Article
  • Being Prepared in the Time of COVID-19

    With generous support from the Cambia Health Foundation, Ariadne Labs and The Conversation Project have developed a patient-facing guide on Being Prepared in the Time of COVID-19. This tool can help people take action and be prepared for the pandemic. Read more... ...» Full Article
  • MHQP Introduces New Resource to Help Empowered Patients

    Healthcare leaders around the country recognize that engaging patients through collaborative and personalized care is a key to reducing costs and improving outcomes. To advance this cause, Massachusetts Health Quality Partners (MHQP), with the help of its Consumer Health Council (CHC), has created a new section on the MHQP website dedicated to supporting patients who wish to become more activ...» Full Article
  • CARE ACT: Implementation of Chapter 332 of the Acts of 2016, Discharge Planning

    In an effort to support caregivers and those they care for, Governor Charlie Baker signed into law chapter 332 of the acts of 2016, an act authorizing the disclosure of medical information to certain designated caregivers, which authorizes all acute care hospital patients 18 years of age or older receiving inpatient services to designate a caregiver and requires hospitals to discuss with the pat...» Full Article
  • Talking About Brain Health & Aging – The Basics

    Aging well depends on your genes, lifestyle choices, and environment. Even if you’re healthy, brain changes as you age may lead to increased challenges with multitasking, paying attention, and recalling words. However, most of us—at any age—can learn new things and improve skills, which can be important for maintaining our independence.Read more......» Full Article
  • MHQP’s 2018 Adult Preventive Care Guidelines

    About the MHQP Adult Preventive Care Guidelines MHQP’s 2018 guidelines were developed by a collaborative group of  Massachusetts healthcare organizations. These are recommendations for providing preventive care to adult patients from the general population. These guidelines should not supplant clinical judgment or the needs of individual patients. These guidelines are intended as quality-pr...» Full Article
  • MHA’s CARE Act Guidance – Updated Materials

    The Caregiver Advise, Record & Enable (CARE) Act (Chapter 332 of the Acts of 2016), effective November 8, is intended to allow patients over the age of 18, who have been admitted as an inpatient at an acute care hospital, to designate a caregiver and give permission for the hospital to provide medical information to that caregiver. Materials, Fact Sheet and FAQs can be found here... &nbs...» Full Article