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PSNet: Patient Safety Network
Journal Article

Health care consumers' inclination to engage in selected patient safety practices: a survey of adults in Pennsylvania.

Marella WM, Finley E, Thomas AD, et al. Journal of Patient Safety. 2008;3.

Patients are increasingly being asked to assume a role in ensuring their own safety. Both AHRQ's "20 Tips to Help Prevent Medical Errors" and the Joint Commission's "Speak Up" program to ensure surgical safety recommend that patients engage in specific safety practices, such as maintaining a list of their medications and asking health care workers if they have washed their hands. This survey assessed the willingness of patients to carry out these practices. Patients were much less likely to engage in behaviors that required them to challenge providers (such as checking for handwashing compliance) than less confrontational practices (such as following up on test results). The study's findings are similar to a prior AHRQ-funded study of patients recently discharged from the hospital.