“Ask Me 3” is an educational program created by the National Patient Safety Foundation. According to this program, the three most important questions to ask your doctor, nurse or caregiver are:
- “What is My Main Problem?” - It’s important to understand what brought you to the hospital in the first place. Are you suffering from a chronic condition or has this visit been caused by a new illness? What exactly brought you to the doctor or hospital?
- “What Do I Need to Do?” – Every patient gets a discharge summary when they leave the hospital, but asking clarifying questions can help you better understand what to do next. Ask questions like: Was the issue resolved or do I need more treatment? Has there been a change in medication and, if so, what do I do with my old medication? Do I need to make lifestyle changes to prevent future trips to the hospital and what kind? Do I need to make follow-up appointments and with whom? Will someone be coming to my home? When should I expect them? What signs or symptoms can I look for to catch an illness early?
- “Why is it Important for Me to Do This?” – After patients leave, they may not understand the importance of the recommendations they receive. Ask your doctor why each step is important, and what it means as part of your recovery.