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VA National Center for Patient Safety

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Veterans: Patient Safety and You

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We urge you and your family to become part of our patient safety team.

For our patient safety program to be truly effective, we need you to be fully informed and actively involved in your care.

What does your involvement in patient safety mean to you and your family?

  • It means we need you to provide detailed information about your condition.
  • It means that you should clearly understand your diagnosis and treatment plan and know what to expect.
  • It means keeping us informed of any changes in your condition, good or bad, such as an allergic reaction to a drug.
  • It means we want you to speak up when you have a question about any aspect of your care.

We want you to become a partner in the development of a safe care plan. Your active involvement will help us consistently do the right thing at the right time for the right person — you.

Some final thoughts…

Remember what our parents used to tell us before crossing the street? Before you proceed: "stop, look and listen." Our parents' aim was to involve us in making the right decision. They didn’t want us to be harmed because we were caught off guard.

Patient safety can be that simple for you and your family…

  • Stop and learn the facts about your condition and your medications.
  • Look carefully through your care plan with us so that we all fully understand and concur on its course.
  • Listen closely to what you'll need to do to continue your care plan at home.

Above all, be proactive! Let us know if you feel the need to vary your care plan. Explain why. We'll listen.

Bottom line: As a well-informed patient, you can help us create a safer VA healthcare system.

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