Be actively involved in your own healthcare.
Taking part in decisions that are made about your treatment is the single most important way to help prevent things from going wrong and to get the best possible care for your needs.
Speak up if you have any questions or concerns.
Choose a health care professional with whom you feel comfortable talking about your health and treatment. Remember that you have the right to ask questions and to expect answers that you can understand. Your health care professional wants to answer your questions, but can only answer them if you ask. A family member, carer or interpreter can be there with you if this will help. If you want to, you can always ask for another professional opinion.
Learn more about your condition or treatments by asking your doctor or nurse and by using other reliable sources of information.
It’s a good idea to collect as much reliable information as you can about your condition, tests and treatments.
Keep a list of all the medicines you are taking.
You can use the list to let your doctor and pharmacist know about everything you are taking, and about any drug allergies you may have. Remember to include prescriptions, over-the-counter medicines and complementary medicines (such as vitamins and herbs) on your list.
Make sure you understand the medicines you are taking.
When you receive your medicine, read the label, including the warnings. Make sure it is what your doctor ordered for you.
Make sure you get the results of any test or procedure.
If you don’t get the results when expected, don’t assume ‘no news is good news’. Call your
doctor to arrange an appointment to find out your results, and ask what they mean for your
Talk to your doctor or other health care professional about your options if you need to go into hospital.
Most hospitals do a good job at treating a wide range of problems. Other hospitals specialize in particular areas, such as, heart bypass surgery. Become involved in decisions about your hospital treatment by discussing your options with your health care professionals.
Make sure you understand what will happen if you need surgery or a procedure.
Ask your doctor or surgeon exactly what is involved in the procedure and who will be in charge of your care when you’re in hospital. If you want, your general practitioner or other health care professional can help you find out what you need to know.
Make sure you, your doctor and your surgeon all agree on exactly what will be done during the operation.
You should confirm with your doctor and your surgeon the operation to be performed as close as possible to it happening.
Before you leave hospital, ask your doctor or other health care professionals to explain the treatment plan you will use at home.
Doctors can sometimes think that their patients understand more than they really do about their continuing treatment and follow-up after they are discharged home from hospital. Remember to visit your GP as soon as possible after you are discharged.
Contact details for health information in your State:
Queensland Health: (07) 3234 0111