Patient safety: Before admission to the hospital

by | Feb 7, 2023 | Patient Safety

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Clear all your doubts regarding hospital admission. It will streamline the admission process and improve your hospital experience. Hospital workers tend to use medical jargon, so feel free to ask them the meaning of terms.

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Common hospital admission concerns that you can ask your healthcare provider about include:

● Details of your diagnosis to understand the illness you have and why it requires a hospital admission
● Etiology and risk factors related to your illness
● Treatment modality, procedures, and medication details

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● Potential side effects of the treatment
● Hospital logistics, including facilities and coordination of care


Pack all the things that you require for a comfortable hospital stay before admission such as:

● Clean clothes
● Toiletries and personal hygiene items
● Any medical devices or items you require such as your prescription glasses or hearing aids
● Your normal medication with the prescription
● Healthy snacks
● Money and a credit/debit card
● Electronic items like your mobile phone, laptop, tablet and earphones

Some procedures require a friend or family member to sign documents in addition to the patient. Bring a family member or friend if you can, to verify your medical history, help out during the admission process and be present during certain procedures.

Avoid undue delays in the admission process. Delays in seeking care (First Delay), reaching care (Second Delay), and receiving care (Third Delay) can cause your condition to progress. Look out for danger signs that require early medical review.


Before admission to the hospital, it is essential to provide a clear and accurate health history. The information that you need to provide your healthcare provider with includes the following:

● History of present illness: You can confirm details of this with family or friends that may notice some symptoms that you do not.
● History of past illnesses
● History of chronic illnesses such as diabetes or hypertension.

● History of medical procedures, hospitalisation, surgeries, and blood transfusion

● History of medication: Gather all your current nutritional supplements, over-the-counter drugs, or prescription medication and inform your doctor about these.

● History of alcohol consumption, smoking, and illicit substance use: Total transparency with the health care provider is essential for optimum care.

● History of family illnesses: Have a conversation with your family members to find out if there are any genetic diseases in your family, like various cancers and
blood disorders.

Documents such as medical history files, discharge summaries, and medical insurance paperwork are important. The implication of laboratory values is paramount for the hospital admission. It will be extremely useful if you arrange your laboratory reports in chronological order in a file. Also, discuss and be informed about insurance policies.

If you are being admitted for a planned surgical procedure, ensure you know what to do before the surgery. Be prepared for a pre-operative assessment. This assessment includes questions about your health, a battery of tests to ensure you are fit for surgery, and special instructions for surgery.

Be well informed. Assess how to minimise your hospital stay after admission. Be informed about alternative options like diagnostic and outpatient alternatives.


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