Natchez Regional wants you involved

Published 12:00 am Monday, February 18, 2008

I don’t know about you, but when someone asks me to speak up and give my opinion, they don’t have to ask me twice.

When it comes to your healthcare, speaking up and getting involved are keys to getting the best outcomes for your medical care. This means taking part and being involved in every decision about your care. It also means asking members of your healthcare team questions so that you can make informed choices. If you are in a hospital setting, this medical team consists of your doctors, nurses, pharmacists, therapists, dietitians and social workers, just to name a few.

A program called “Speak Up” is sponsored by the Joint Commission and urges patients to get involved in their care. Natchez Regional is proud to participate in this program that provides simple advice on how you, as the patient, can make your care a positive experience. This advice includes the following:

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4Speak up if you have questions or concerns, and if you don’t understand, ask again. It’s your body and you have a right to know.

4Pay attention to the care you are receiving. Make sure you’re getting the right treatments and medications by the right health care professionals. Don’t assume anything.

4Educate yourself about your diagnosis, the medical tests you are undergoing, and your treatment plan.

4Ask a trusted family member or friend to be your advocate.

4Know what medications you take and why you take them.

4Use a hospital, clinic, surgery center or other type of health care organization that has undergone a rigorous on-site evaluation against established, state-of-the-art quality and safety standards, such as that provided by Joint Commission.

4Participate in all decisions about your treatment; and remember, you are the center of your healthcare team.

In an effort to encourage more involvement and participation in your healthcare, Natchez Regional is proud to offer a seminar titled, “Get Involved. It’s Your Health!” from noon until 1 p.m. Tuesday. The meeting is in the first floor classroom of the hospital, and lunch will be provided. You must register by calling 601-443-2879, as seating is limited. Topics to be discussed include: Your rights as a patient, your responsibilities as a patient, and how and where to voice your concerns regarding your healthcare.

We hope to see you Tuesday and remember, speak up.

Kim McDaniel, RN, BSN, is infection control/employee health nurse at Natchez Regional Medical Center.