Be our partner in safety

We want every patient to be a partner with their doctors and nurses so that they always receive the right care at the right time.

Excellent healthcare depends on a partnership of the patient and the healthcare team. To ensure that every patient receives the best care, everyone must take a role in patient safety, including you and your chosen family member or friend.

How you can partner with your healthcare team

  • Ask questions; invite your family and visitors to ask questions
  • Provide complete information about your medical history, allergies, medications, and concerns
  • Give your care team the names and phone numbers of all of your doctors, clinics and pharmacies, and we’ll coordinate with them
  • Participate in important hospital safety systems:
    • Don’t get out of bed in the hospital, even just to go to the bathroom, without a staff person to help you – we don’t want you to fall
    • Remind your visitors and the staff, if necessary, to clean their hands when they enter and leave your room
    • Help us check your identification band every time we give you care or treatment
    • Help the surgeon, if you’re having surgery, make a clear, accurate mark indicating where your surgery will be

To learn more about what you can do as a patient to navigate the hospital and ensure a quality healthcare experience, view our Hospital Guide or Patient Orientation Checklist (pdf).

The role of family members and friends

You may find it helpful to identify a family member or friend who can help you while you are in the hospital. This person can:

  • Help keep track of your medications, treatments, and diagnostic tests so you always know what is planned
  • Help gather information that the healthcare team needs, such as any medications or supplements you take at home
  • Help you remember to ask questions or raise concerns
  • If necessary, help the healthcare team make decisions when you cannot do so (we recommend you designate one person your Healthcare Power of Attorney or official decision-maker in the event you are temporarily unable to make decisions)

Learn more about Advance Directives.

Safety of radiation therapy and CT scans

At Northwestern Memorial Hospital, we recognize that there are risks involved with radiation, and because of those risks, patient safety is and always has been our number one priority. Learn what we are doing to ensure the safest possible CT scans and delivery of radiation therapy.