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What to Do Before You Leave the Hospital

Making sure that patients understand how and when to take their drugs is also a 2008 national patient safety goal of the Joint Commission, a group that reviews hospital care.

I believe that patients should ask their health care team questions—lots of them. But I also understand that a hospital stay can be a confusing and stressful time, which may prevent them from asking the questions they normally would.

That’s why I’m pleased that health professionals realize we need to do a better job of preparing patients for leaving the hospital. Working together, we can improve the chances that all patients will get on the road to better health.

I’m Dr. Carolyn Clancy, and that’s my opinion on how to navigate the health care system.

Carolyn Clancy, a general internist and researcher, is an expert in engaging consumers in their health care. She is the director of the U.S. Agency for Healthcare Research and Quality.

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