Healthy conversations for safer healthcare

  • Published
  • By Claudia E. Enriquez, RN, BSN
  • 49th Medical Group Patient Safety Manager
The National Patient Safety Foundation designated March 7 through 13 as Patient Safety Awareness week. Because we take pride in the safety of our patients, the 49th Medical Group has put together a list of steps to help you play an active role in your healthcare.

As always, we strive to excel in patient care, safety, advocacy and patient health. Our goal is to continue making you and your health our number one priority, as we focus on ways to improve the safety of your healthcare.

Here are some simple steps you can take to improve your health care experience.

Step 1: Bring the bottles of all the medications you take to your appointment.

Bringing the actual medication bottles will help get rid of any confusion and it will make it easier to create a list for you.

Please include any over-the counter medicines you are taking. Sometimes these medicines have an effect on your prescribed medications. Tell your provider about any drug allergies you have.

Read the label to make sure the medication isn't a duplicate of one you are already taking. Read the medicine information sheet given by the pharmacy including warning signs. Ask about side-effects and things you should look for while taking the medication. Make sure your medicine is what the doctor ordered and know how to take it.

Step 2: Ask questions if you have doubts or concerns.

Ask questions and make sure you understand the answers your healthcare provider tells you. Take a relative or friend to help you ask questions and make sure you understand the answers.

Ask the pharmacist about your medicine if it looks or sounds different than you expected. When your healthcare provider gives you a list of all your medications, keep the list with you and take it to all medical visits.

Step 3: Get the results of tests or procedures.

Ask when and how you will get the results of tests or procedures, be it in person, by phone, or by mail. Do not assume the results are normal. If you do not get your results by the time you were instructed, call 572-2778 to schedule an appointment or leave a telephone consult.

Step 4: Pay Attention!

If you have a concern please ask your doctor or healthcare professional to explain it to you in a way you can understand.

When you pick up medicine from any pharmacy, read the label and make sure it has your name, the medicine name and the instructions discussed with your healthcare provider.

Step 5: Take an active role in your overall health.

Talk to your healthcare professional. Communicate your concerns. Ask when you don't understand something.

At the 49th Medical Group, We're committed to our patients' safety and concerns as our first priority. Following the steps discussed and talking with us about your needs and concerns will allow us to improve the safety of all our patients.

For more information or to report your patient safety concerns call me, Claudia Enriquez, at 575-572-7320 or email me at