Don’t be afraid to ask (EN)Durf te vragen
Help ensure safe healthcare
Isala wants to provide people with an environment in which they feel safe. Patients must be able to trust in Isala’s professional expertise, skills and medical knowledge. You can read more about safety in the hospital here.
Safety in the hospital
Isala is committed to optimally restoring, maintaining and improving the quality of life of the people entrusted to its care. We want to provide people with an environment in which they feel safe and can trust in our professional expertise, our skills and our medical knowledge. We are responsible for your safety in our hospital. You can help us with this. Together we can make sure that errors are prevented as far as possible.
What can you do?
You can help us to prevent errors as far as possible. Six tips for you:
1. Provide all relevant information about your state of health
Prepare properly for the meeting with your healthcare provider. Write your questions down on paper. Explain how you feel and make it clear what you expect from your healthcare provider. If you have more than one healthcare provider, ask whether the other healthcare providers are also aware of the information about you.
2. Let your healthcare provider know if you don’t understand something
Let your healthcare provider know if something isn’t clear, or if you have doubts or concerns. Make sure that you are properly informed about your illness or disorder and about the treatment, the risks and alternatives. Ask for information in writing so that you can take your time to read through it later. If several healthcare providers are involved in your treatment, ask which healthcare provider would be best to turn to with questions about the treatment and any problems that may occur.
3. Write down the medications that you use
Make a list of all the medications you use (with or without a prescription) and bring this list with you when you go to the hospital. You can ask your pharmacist for a printout of the medications you use. Tell the physician treating you about any medications you are allergic to or any medications that you know are not effective for you. Ask whether the medications prescribed by different physicians can be taken together.
4. Discuss the course of your treatment
Discuss with your healthcare provider how your treatment will proceed. Ask what you can expect, how long it will take before you notice any improvement, what you yourself can do and what you should do if things don’t go as planned. If you are referred to another healthcare provider for further treatment, ask why. Also ask who is ultimately responsible for your treatment.
5. Ask questions if things do not go as expected
Ask questions if the healthcare provider provides you with a treatment that is different to the one you thought had been agreed. Let your healthcare provider know if the name, color, form or shape of the medications is different to what you usually use. Let your healthcare provider know if you have a feeling that something’s not right. Check whether your medication and personal details (name and date of birth) are correct. If you have been referred to another healthcare provider, ask questions if he/she does something different to what you had expected.
6. Carefully follow instructions and recommendations
Stick to the agreements you have made with your healthcare provider concerning your treatment. Ask what you may or may not do. Repeat the instructions and recommendations in your own words. Let your healthcare provider know if you feel that you have received conflicting recommendations or information. Make sure you know when you have to come back for a check-up and who to contact if any changes occur in the meantime.
A few examples of situations in which your alertness contributes to your safety:
- Has the nurse given you medication that has a different color, form or shape than you are used to? Say so! Don’t assume: “The doctor must have prescribed different medication.”
- Does the pharmacist know which non-prescription medications you use? Tell him! You can also bring along a printout of your medication summary, so that the pharmacist can check whether different medications can be safely used together.
- Has the specialist told you a completely different story than your general practitioner? Say so! It is possible that your general practitioner and the specialist haven’t understood each other properly.
- Do you have difficulty understanding the physical therapist’s explanation? Ask! Otherwise you won’t be able to properly follow the recommendations for a good treatment.
Patient and Client Council
The Patient and Client Council wholeheartedly supports Isala and its patients. Chairperson Harm Lassche: “In our opinion, providing a safe environment goes beyond rules and vigilant staff. It also involves you as an Isala patient and visitor being explicitly asked to pay attention. Take a look around you and don’t hesitate to let us know if you think something has been forgotten or is at risk of going wrong. For example: do visitors and staff members wash their hands? Are you receiving the right medication? Have the facilities been cleaned properly?”
General tips for a meeting with a doctor or other healthcare provider
- Bring someone along to important appointments.
- Prepare a list of questions beforehand.
- Ask questions that start with who, what, where, when, why or how.
- Ask for time for your questions! Make a new appointment if necessary.
- Check your insurance coverage.
Help us provide safe healthcare and ensure that you receive the right treatment.
Don’t be afraid to let us know!
If something doesn't go as it should, it is important to let us know. Always tell your healthcare provider first. He or she will view your comment as free advice. Would you like to submit a complaint? You can find more information at the bottom of this page.
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Your safety is our concern!
If you have any questions after reading this information, please contact the Center for Improvement and Innovation at 038 424 4091.