From the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, I’m Ira Dreyfuss with HHS HealthBeat.
Can you imagine going into a hospital for surgery and learning afterward that the doctor operated on the wrong body part? Or that you got medication that was meant for someone else?
Things like that are rare, of course. But they should never happen, which is why they’re called “never events.’’
At HHS’ Agency for Healthcare Research and Quality – or AHRQ – Director Carolyn Clancy offers ideas on how consumers can raise the chances that a never event never happens to them:
“That means taking part in every decision about your health care and asking lots of questions. Choose a clinician that you feel comfortable talking to, and always make sure that you get the answers you need.” (12 seconds)
To help you get the information you need, AHRQ has a fact sheet, “Five Steps to Safer Health Care,’’ available online.
Learn more at hhs.gov.
HHS HealthBeat is a production of the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services. I’m Ira Dreyfuss.
Last revised: May 7, 2011