How to get safe care at a hospital

Being admitted to the hospital can certainly be stressful.

Recent reports of patients contracting unrelated infections during their stay only add to the recovery time.

Few things create as much anxiety as a hospital stay.

Here's how to make sure you, or your loved one, get the safest care possible:

Speak-up. Ask questions and be sure you understand the answers.

Voice concerns about safety and find out how you'll be protected.

Wash up. Make sure your healthcare providers' hands are clean.

If you don't see them wash them, ask them to do so-the same goes for visitors.

Monitor medication. Provide a list of your prescription and non-prescription medicines.

Inquire about possible side effects of new prescriptions and reveal any drug allergies.

Try to prevent C. diff. C. diff is short for clostridium difficile. Cleanliness is the key to preventing this germ, which causes diarrhea. While it most often occurs in the elderly, and patients taking antibiotics, C. diff spores run rampant in healthcare settings.

Know how to identify an infection.

Skin infections can appear as redness, pain, or drainage at an IV catheter or incision site. Often they include a fever.

Bottom line, good communication is the key to a healing hospital stay.

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