For Your Care, Safety & Security
Partnering With Our Patients
At UTMB Health, health care safety is our top priority. We encourage our patients to be active participants in their health care using the “Speak Up” program.
- If you don’t understand something or if something doesn’t seem right.
- If you speak another language and would like an interpreter.
- If you need medical forms explained.
- If you think you’re being confused with another patient.
- If you don’t recognize a medicine or think you’re about to get the wrong medicine.
- If you are not getting your medicine or treatment when you should.
- About your allergies and reactions you’ve had to medicines.
- Check identification (ID) badges worn by doctors, nurses and other staff.
- Check the ID badge of anyone who asks to take your newborn baby.
- Don’t be afraid to remind doctors and nurses to wash their hands.
- So you can make well-informed decisions about your care.
- Ask doctors and nurses about their training and experience treating your condition.
- Ask for written information about your condition.
- Find out how long treatment should last, and how you should feel during treatment.
- Ask for instruction on how to use your medical equipment.
Advocates (family members and friends) can help…
- Give advice and support — but they should respect your decisions about the care you want.
- Ask questions, and write down important information and instructions for you.
- Make sure you get the correct medicines and treatments.
- Go over the consent form, so you all understand it.
- Get instructions for follow-up care, and find out who to call if your condition gets worse.
Know about your new medicine…
- Ask for information about it, including brand and generic names.
- Ask about side effects.
- Find out if it is safe to take with your other medicines and vitamins.
- Ask for a printed prescription if you can’t read the handwriting.
- Read the label on the bag of intravenous (IV) fluid so you know what’s in it and that it is for you.
- Ask how long it will take the IV to run out.
Use a quality health care organization that…
- Has experience taking care of people with your condition.
- Your doctor believes has the best care for your condition.
- Is accredited, meaning it meets certain quality standards.
- Has a culture that values safety and quality, and works every day to improve care.
Participate in all decisions about your care…
- Discuss each step of your care with your doctor.
- Don’t be afraid to get a second or third opinion.
- Share your up-to-date list of medicines and vitamins with doctors and nurses.
- Share copies of your medical records with your health care team.
Calling Your Nurse
A button to call your nurse is located at your bedside. When you press the button, the nurse's station is alerted that you need assistance and a staff member will respond to your call.
Managing Your Pain
As a patient at UTMB Health, you can expect:
- Your pain will be discussed and you will be involved with plans to respond to your pain.
During your stay at UTMB Health, we encourage you to:
- Be active in your care.
- Partner with us to progress toward your goals of care.
Concerns About You and/or Your Loved One
If you and/or your loved one feel that something might be wrong, please contact a member of your care team immediately. Examples might include suddenly having difficulty breathing, or changes in the way that someone is thinking or talking. UTMB has teams of specially trained healthcare staff that can be called to help.
How would you ask for the Rapid Response Team?
Ask your nurse (or your loved one’s nurse) to call the Rapid Response Team.