Review Your Patient Chart

Guess what every patient in a hospital has? No, we’re not speaking of those less-than-attractive hospital gowns or the plastic ID bracelets. The answer is a patient chart. Although the chart is legally the property of the hospital and generally kept at a nursing station, the patient should be aware of its content. Ask your doctor for an explanation. The chart may contain the following:

•  Your medical history.

•  Hospital laboratory results.

•  Lists of medications (doses and schedules).

•  Special treatments or therapy.

•  Dietary restrictions or recommendations (low-sodium diet, for example).

•  Scheduled diagnostic procedures (such as X-rays).

•  Surgical notes (length of operation, assisting medical staff, type of anesthesia administered, recovery notes).

If you suspect a problem or error–in how often you are being given medication, for instance–ask a nurse or your doctor to show you your chart and explain what is written there.

This website is not meant to substitute for expert medical advice or treatment. Follow your doctor’s or health care provider’s advice if it differs from what is given in this guide.


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