Partner with Us for a Safer Visit

At Vanderbilt, keeping you safe is our top priority. We want you to partner with us. You play a vital role by:

  • Asking questions.
  • Keeping us informed about your condition.
  • Being aware of good safety practices.

Tips for Hospital Stays

Prepare for your visit by:

  • Learning as much as you can about your illness, procedure or test.
  • Verifying with your doctor's office when you are to be admitted and where you should park.
  • Learning about choices to be made in your treatment plan, so you can make the best decisions.
  • Making a list of all your current medications, including over-the-counter products and dietary or herbal supplements.
  • Checking to see that your immunizations and vaccinations are up-to-date.

What to bring: 

  • A list of all your current medications
  • A trusted friend or family member to act as your advocate
  • A list of any questions you have to ask your provider or caregiver
  • Personal items such as toiletries
  • A description of any pain you are having

During your hospital stay:

  • Ask questions. For example: Who is my attending physician?, How much pain can I expect?, How will you control my pain?, When can I get out of bed?, When do I take my medications?, How can I speed up my recovery?, What can my family do to help?
  • Provide any information that you feel may be important.
  • Let us know any allergies or sensitivies you may have.
  • Ask everyone who enters your room to wash their hands.
  • Ask every person to identify himself or herself when they enter your room.
  • Ask questions about medications before they are given to you.
  • Make sure your nurse or caregiver checks your armband before giving you medicines.
  • Report anything unusual to your doctor, such as any changes in your condition.
  • If you feel that something is "just not right" or there is a medical emergency, call 1-1111 for the Rapid Response Team and notify your nurse.

Before you leave:

  • Make sure you understand your discharge instructions. To make sure you understand, repeat back the verbal instructions.
  • Make sure you understand any written information and that it is readable.
  • Get the name and number of someone you can call if you have any questions.
  • Make sure you do not leave personal items.

Tips for Clinic Visits

Before your appointment:

  • Confirm the date and time of your appointment with your provider's office.
  • Make a list of all the medicines you take including over-the-counter products and herbal supplements.
  • Make a list of symptoms, concerns or questions to ask your provider.
  • Review parking information if this is your first visit.

Bring with you:

  • A list of current medications including over-the-counter products and herbal supplements
  • A list of concerns or questions you wish to ask your provider
  • A trusted friend or family member may be helpful in jotting down information or keeping up with your belongings if you have a test done
  • Any lab or test results you've been asked to bring.

At your appointment:

  • Provide accurate information about your health history and symptoms
  • Know how to describe any pain you are having. Download a tip sheet for help describing your pain (PDF).
  • Let us know if you have any allergies or sensitivities to products
  • Ask questions
  • Make notes of the answers to your questions

Before you leave:

  • Gather instructions for follow-up appointment, lab test or procedure.
  • Ask questions about anything you do not understand
  • If you need a prescription filled, ask directions to the pharmacy.
  • If you haven't done so, sign up for My Health at Vanderbilt.

National Safety Resources