Your Health Care - Be Involved
"Your Health Care - Be Involved" is an initiative developed by the Ontario Hospital Association's Patient Safety Support Service with funding from the Ministry of Health and Long-Term Care. "Your Health Care - Be Involved" is the first of its kind in Ontario, providing patients with five "common sense" tips to engage and encourage them to be more involved in their health care. The initiative is guided by the concept of patient empowerment and on the important role patients can play at each stage in their care.
The five "tips"
- Be involved in your health care. Speak up if you have questions or concerns about your care.
One of the keys to getting the best health care is to be an active participant. This means getting the information you need to make informed choices about your care. It is often helpful to bring a family member or friend with you, or to plan the questions you want to ask and write them down if you can.
- Tell a member of your health care team about your past illnesses and your current health condition.
You are the one who knows the most about your health. Tell members of your health care team everything you can, even if you think they already know. Examples like: any recent surgeries, or if you have seen another doctor or gone somewhere else for health care.
- Bring all of your medicines with you when you go to the hospital.
Some medicines combine with each other in your body and produce bad reactions. To protect you, your health care team must know about everything you take. This includes the drugs you take with a doctor’s prescription but also includes vitamins, herbal remedies, or over-the-counter medicine you can buy at the drugstore. You may want to make a list of everything you take that you can bring with you when you need it. Your doctor and pharmacist can help you make this list. Whenever possible, you should bring all of your medications with you when you go to the hospital.
- Tell a member of your health care team if you have ever had an allergic or bad reaction to any medicine or food.
Because some medicines have food in them, (such as the eggs used in making the flu shot), be sure to tell your health care team about any food allergies you know about. Also, remember to tell someone right away if a new medicine makes you feel unwell.
- Make sure you know what to do when you go home from the hospital or from your medical appointment.
Before you leave the hospital make sure you understand what symptoms to watch for and who to call if something doesn’t feel right. You can write this information down or it may be helpful to have a friend or family member with you to help you.
At Ross Memorial, we know and understand that today's patients want more information about their treatment programs, more information about the drugs they are prescribed, and more information about what they can do to get better faster.
We want to encourage you to get involved with your care. Look for our "Your Health Care - Be Involved" materials, including helpful reminders and information sheets, in many areas of the Hospital.