Keep track of names of staff, medications, test results, and procedures on a notepad or in your iPhone (or have a loved one do it). The minute youre confused, demand clarification.
Hospital-acquired infections like methicillin-resistant Staphylococcus aureus (MRSA) account for 99,000 deaths every year. So when a doctor or nurse comes into the room, ask her to wash her hands before she touches you.
Identify yourself constantly. Whenever the nurse (or anyone treating you) gives you meds or anything else, make sure she checks your hospital-issued ID bracelet and then ask her, “Is this for me? My name is _____.” The average patient experiences one drug mistake in the hospital every day.