Employee & Community Health

You and your care team: Partners in safety

3/23/2017 by Dr. Robert Stroebel

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You and your primary care team are partners in ensuring your safety when you're a patient at Mayo Clinic. Three of the most-common risks to your safety are: 

  • Communication of test results
  • Management of high-risk medications like blood thinners or diabetes medications
  • Transition of care from the hospital to home

Here's how you and your care team can reduce these risks: 

Test results. These are communicated to you via Patient Online Services, telephone or U.S. mail. If you do not receive communication about the results of a test after a reasonable amount of time, please contact your care team to follow up. 

High-risk medications. You should receive detailed instructions from your provider, care team nurse or pharmacist when you start a blood thinner or diabetes medication. A team member will contact you periodically if you need to adjust the dosages. For questions or concerns about these or other medications, your primary care team is your first resource for getting answers. 

Care transition. If you've been in the hospital, the transition back to your home can be a challenge. You may have medication changes, dietary limitations, activity restrictions, therapy needs or dressing changes. Depending on your situation, a member of your primary care team may contact you shortly after you've been discharged. In some cases, they will schedule a follow-up visit with your primary care provider. 

By reaching out to answer any questions you may have, your care team is helping ensure that your recovery is uneventful. And if you have questions during your transition, don't hesitate to contact your care team via Patient Online Services or by phone. 

Close communication with your team is the key to minimizing your risks concerning test results, high-risk medications and care transitions. As partners, you and your primary care team can work together to optimize your health and safety. 

Dr. Robert Stroebel is a general internist in Employee and Community Health's (ECH) Division of Primary Care Internal Medicine (PCIM) at Mayo Clinic in Rochester. He is an associate professor of Medicine, Mayo College of Medicine, and has practiced Internal Medicine for the past 24 years, with a career focus in practice redesign.