At some point in your medical journey, you may want to clear your doubts or increase your knowledge about any particular issue. This could also pertain to making lifestyle choices. Or decisions about your health and treatment.
While Patients For Patient Safety Intiative does not prescribe advice directly, the answers given under FAQs are a compilation of experiences and expert opinions.


Your body is an amazing creation with built-in mechanisms which helps you fight any abnormality that you encounter. It also sends out signals which manifests itself in what we call symptoms. Some symptoms have a very direct link to a particular cause but in a large number of cases you would not be able to diagnose the real problem. It is okay for you to use common medication to address the symptoms however this does not apply to anything which is unusual , severe, unexplained and you feel uncertain. 

Today a large amount of information is available on the internet, which may be good for your knowledge and education. It is good for you to search the internet for what are the symptoms for some serious illnesses. These are important for you to know even if you are not a patient But will be handy knowledge in case you have to assist someone else who is having the symptoms.

However everybody is unique and when you look look up the internet you can only indicate the main symptom but not your medical history, other physical aspects of your body which are very important for a correct diagnosis. In many cases such as heart issue, a stroke, internal bleeding et cetera you could lose valuable time trying to find the possible cause and remedy.

If symptoms are unusual and severe you may want to directly go to the hospital emergency.

At the emergency they can identify the problem and also do further tests etc and start the right treatment . 

Symptom Checker 

Serious Disease Symptoms 

Does Internet Always Help Your Concerns 

When I must See A Doctor 

One of the very important inputs for a doctor in addition to your current symptoms is your past medical history and also the family history. When you approach a doctor she will be able to correlate your current physical situation and symptoms with any ailment, surgery, procedure, medication that you may be on. In a lot of cases we are prone to diseases that are prevalent in the family and those that our parents, siblings and grandparents may have had. While it. Is not always the case that you would have similar illnesses but you are vulnerability increases if there is a family history. This is true for many illnesses like diabetes, heart issues, cancer, allergies et cetera. 

Will you have some symptoms of visiting a doctor , you would not be able to collect all this information. It will be important to have your personal medical history including test reports discharge reports, current medication handy. For example If you have had a cardiac issue in the past you are ECG may have a permanent change. For the doctor to compare your most recent ECG with the previous one would show him if you have had any recent episodes. 

  • Keep a separate file of your illnesses, doctors visits, and medication you take regularly, or for specific illnesses. 
  • Keep all your investigation reports in a chronological order in a separate file.
  • For genetic or hereditary diseases, keep reports of your family available in your file
  • Keep doctors prescriptions in one file in chronological order.
  • Flag all important or major illness prescriptions, investigative reports and treatments.
  • Keep a digital copy of important reports and latest prescriptions accessible in your cloud or computer or mobile, especially while travelling.

As you grow some people may have more than one ailment And it will be good for the doctor you are meeting to know about them enable her to correlate with your symptoms

Further Reading 

Organising Medical records 

Keeping Track of Health History 

Importance of Family Medical History 

All of us travel for vacation, family functions or for work. One of the things that keeps us worried is what happens if I get sick while travelling. Many times you feel just unwell because of jet lag, change in weather, different food and sometimes even due to factors like high altitude etc. It will be good for you to find out if there are any specific issues that may be related to the place of travel like mosquitoes, altitude, water quality . There are enough advisories available on travel sites. 

It is always recommended that you carry a brief report on your medical history, list of current medicationsincluding their generic names. Also take with you summary of your teat reports, copy of ECG or any other significant report. As the doctor is unaware of your history all this information will be important for him. If need be connect the doctor with you are family GP or treating physician in your city. This consultation is very useful to select the line of treatment when you’re travelling. If you are travelling overseas do carry with you a foreign travel Medical Insurance.

Carry with you normal medications for treating common illnesses such as fever diarrhoea headache sprain et cetera. If you are on regular medication carry extra medication beyond your days of travel just in case your travel gets extended. In most places you would not be able to buy prescription drugs and this you have prescriptions from acknowledged source.

Your Survival Guide while Traveling 

General Travel Advise Beyond the Basics 


You are visiting a doctor because you have some new symptoms or an old ailment is not getting treated. The doctor you select could be your family physician and a specialist depending upon judgement of your ailments. Before you visit the doctor you need to prepare yourself to be able to explain your problem very briefly and accurately and also be prepared with questions that are in your mind. 

Since you’re already unwell, you may not be able to state every thing from your memory.

 Typically you should carry the following with you.

  • Write down all the symptoms, the frequency, the time it happens, intensity, any recent incident that could have caused this
  • Make a list of your previous ailments , medical history , recent prescriptions, family history if any like cardiac, diabetes etc 
  • List of current medications, any allergies
  • Carry your test and diagnostic reports if done in last couple of years 

In many cases, before the doctor sees you, the nurse make take measurements of your vitals such as BP, temperature, weight as well as your current and past issues.

You should wear light and easy clothing as you may have to take off during your physical examination.

It is always recommended to take along with you a caregiver who can help you with filling up forms, making payments, also be with you during the meeting with doctors and make notes on the verbal instructions given by the doctor. Do ask the doctor questions to clarify your doubt like - “Doctor what do you think is wrong with me?” ; prognosis of your illness and treatment; If doctor’s handwriting or prescription is nit clear , ask him to clarify. 

You can at times make payment for consultation in advance, this will save your time,.

If you are going to the same hospital share your unique ID. This ID will help your doctor access your past history, reports saved in hospital records. 

How to prepare for a doctors visit

5 Steps to Becoming a Great Patient :

How To Prepare For Doctors Visit 

How To Keep my Medical records 

Based on physical examination the doctor may also recommend some tests for further investigation including imaging, biochemical, pathologic, and psychological evaluations. There aren’t many tests out there that can tell you whether or not you have an illness. In most cases, diagnostic testing is used to look for, diagnose, and keep track of disease symptoms and progression.

Overtime technology has advanced and many invasive and non invasive tests have come up which helps the accuracy of the diagnosis and also severity of illness. This helps the doctor in avoiding trial and error in determining the right course of treatment. 

These investigations help the doctor make a considered opinion and are meant to eliminate/ confirm what the doctor may be suspecting is the underlying cause for the symptoms. The tests are therefore necessary.

The best use of diagnostic testing helps doctors to understand how the outcomes of the tests along with other symptoms and your history , arrive at determining a sufficiently high probability of disease. Diagnostic testing should follow a logical sequence that either confirms the diagnosis or excludes it.

Tests involve drawing blood samples , going thru scanning which may involve radiation like X-ray, CT scan , MRI etc. There are also some tests which are invasive like angiography , biopsy. All of them have some risks of infection, over radiation exposure . Do ask your doctor of the risks and for any alternative diagnostic test that can be undertaken. Over time these tests are becoming safer reducing risks. 

Why is Diagnostic Testing Essential 

Screening Tests For Common Therapies 

Benefits and Risks of Diagnostic Tests 

There are a large number of Labs and diagnostic centers to choose from . You need to carefully select the diagnostic facility given the importance of the quality and accuracy of the tests as well as the Interpretation and reporting by the pathologist/ Radiologist. 

 While you will select the lab Which is closest to your Residence And also How soon they can give the reports It is safer to go to a NABL accredited facility. NABL accreditation should be displayed at the lab and you can always ask them to show you. The reports will also state that if it is NABL accreditation. 

NABL regulates and standardises the quality assurance of a particular lab It lays down strict Protocols to be followed. The more number of years the Lab has been accredited the more reliable and accurate It is likely to be. 

 Normally for blood samples . You could ask for home collection as well.

 If there are a large number of tests involved Hi printer how are you I am Good good are you feeling OK well now

How do I select my Diagnostic lab

Factors to Consider in Choosing a Testing Laboratory

To get accurate results many diagnostic tests need certain preparation For example you may be asked to fast for12 hours. In some cases you might have to stop certain medicines which may influence the test results. It is important that use ask the diagnostic Lab For what all precautions / preparations you need to make.

 Many tests may take a long time and you may have to In rare cases also be sedated. It would be good if a caretaker was accompanying you. You may also have to carry your breakfast If you are going fasting. In most good facilities though they try and provide you with appropriate food. 

 Always wear lose clothes to facilitate the tests.

How Do I prepare for tests

Do's and Don'ts for patients visiting hospitals 

Diagnostics technologies are improving every day, which leads to increased quality assurance and decrease in the time duration of the test results. 

However all aspects of the diagnostic process are vulnerable to error causing Delayed Diagnosis, Missed guidance or Incorrect Diagnosis

Causes may include cognitive errors, such as failure to synthesize the available evidence correctly or failure to use physical examination or test data appropriately. System flaws may also contribute to diagnostic errors as a result of problems with communication or coordination of care, problems with the availability of medical record data and insufficient access to specialists.

Many times the test reports or the interpretation of data goes wrong. The tests involve medical equipment, chemicals and reagents, graphic imaging and interpretation of the data that the tests generated. Most of these equipment’s have frequent calibrations process but they get missed. The tests can also give wrong results if pre test precautions were not taken by patients or by diagnostic labs . Errors by diagnostic labs ends up being a costly affair to the health of the patients considering the risks it poses to them.

False reports can lead to misdiagnosis which further complicates the situation as it can delay the treatment or lead to wrong treatment administered by the doctor. Wrong test reports due toi interpretation or poor quality labs . However accredited labs follow standard process and the errors are minimised.

Patients not getting the necessary tests done due to lack of money, remoteness, illiteracy, travel constraints or a limited number of health care facilities.

Causes of diagnostic errors 

How to know if your diagnosis is right or wrong


Sometimes we choose a hospital facility because it is nearby or convenient or we know someone who can help us from within the hospital. Sometimes we need a Specialist hospital, particularly for specialized fields such as ophthalmology, mental health, cancer TB, etc . Sometimes we can choose a Multi Speciality hospital, to address complex or multiple organ illnesses. Most of the times, we go by the Doctors advice. The testimonials and experiences of patients who have used the facility can be useful 

The costs can vary in each case.. The facilities may be high class, or medium class.

Be careful to examine the hygiene, and Safety standards in each hospital.

Accredited hospitals are the best choice as they optimise the facility in terms of clinical and technical expertise, better administration and up keep, and customer experience. A list of NABH accredited hospitals , diagnostic laboratories, can be found on the link:

RELEVANT LINKS for further reading

How to choose a hospital:

Accreditation process involves examination of technical and medical expertise of the doctors, nurses, and para medical staff. It covers the administration processes and adherence to quality and safety standards laid down by the Medical Fraternity. It looks at the service experience of patients.

It is normally valid for 4 years. Thereafter the accreditation status has to be renewed. During the period before renewal regular audits ensure compliance to standards and process integrity. This also encourages research and innovation of Best Practices .

Accreditation also evaluates waste disposal systems, including bins clearly marked, designated areas for collection, and its disposal, show a safe place.Standard operating procedure including wearing disposal gloves, and gear by the staff are specified . 

Incident reporting and its analysis, without fear of reprisal can encourage and nurture a quality and safety culture in the hospital

The accreditation process usually does not have any impact on the cost of treatment.

Hence it is beneficial for the patient to get treated in a an accredited facility.

Many agencies are involved in the accreditation process and its audit. Some of the well known names are—NABH, QAI, These too are certified by International agencies , who keep adding newer requirements and best practices 

What is the Validity of accreditation?

List of areas under purview by NABH

Every hospital has a Front Desk or May -I -help -You section right at the Reception area. 

The Billing may also be nearby. Admission desk could also be close by.

Read the signs displayed on the outside, inside, front desk and reception areas. Overhead signs show directions to every department. Ask for help from the Front desk to guide you in case of language difficulty, inability to read the signs, or if you are unable to navigate the passages yourself. 

All hospitals have an Emergency area which is open all 24 hours. Critical patients must go to Emergency where they try and stabilise the patient and do first diagnosis. 

For in patient admissions, the process maybe different, and may need prior deposit of advance fees before you are allotted a room. 

OPD areas are usually demarcated away from front desk and billing areas. 

Some facilities have pathology laboratory and sample collection areas. Others may also have Radiology labs.

Other general services like canteen, parking, toilets, water, and sitting areas may be spread around the hospital. Most good hospitals also have a pharmacy . 

Wards for Inpatient admissions may be on different floors based on specialisation. .

Operation theatres and recovery rooms, ICU may all be on higher floors.

Basements usually have Stores, Utilities like generators, cooling equipments , air conditioners, and boilers.

Take your time to understand the layout of the hospital, OPD, before admission. Seek help if you find difficulty.

RELEVANT LINKS for further reading

Go to a doctor only if you have faith in him or her. You should follow the doctors prescribed line of treatment. It is important to fully understand the treatment plan and subsequent follow up. 

The doctors written prescription normally includes the reason and evidence of the diagnosis and treatment recommended. Doctor would refer to findings of the investigations as well.

For major illnesses involving multiple symptoms, or long standing illnesses, or complex decisions like surgery, one can seek Second Opinion of another doctor, Specialist doctor or Specialized Hospital.

Patient support groups also offer insights from other patients, and assistance in symptomatic relief or information about services needed for a comprehensive cure.

RELEVANT LINKS for further reading

things to ask the doctor during your check up:

How to read a prescription:

Following doctor orders for medication:

A second opinion is taken at the Diagnosis stage. It may not be advisable to change doctors or line of treatment midway. 

However if your symptoms have gotten worse, or treatment interventions have gone wrong, you may still seek second opinion of another doctor.

In case surgery is recommended and it is not an emergency , you may wish to take a second opinion to reconfirm the line of treatment . (link to Second Opinion from basket BETTER DIAGNOSIS)

RELEVANT LINKS for further reading

Getting a Second Opinion

5 situations when you should get a second opinion

Do Doctors Get Offended When You Get a Second Opinion? 


The Discharge summary is a synopsis of your ailment, how you were at the beginning of the treatment, how you were treated, the diagnostic and investigation tests performed, and your state at present day of release. It contains details of the procedure followed. It will have all the technical terms as well your history considered. 

It carries instructions for continuing the treatment at home, along with medication, and other necessary interventions. It also highlights symptoms that need watching, and reporting, to avoid escalation of the basic disease or its side effects. 

It contains an emergency contact number also.

Although your symptoms may be relieved sooner than expected, the complete treatment should run its course, or else the disease may have a recurrence, or give rise to other problems.

This document will be important for reviews, second opinions, Insurance companies to cover the costs of post hospitalisation expenses . 

You and your caregiver must read this carefully and fully understand this. The hospital is obligated to explain you all the contents of the discharge report 

RELEVANT LINKS for further reading:

what should be included in a hospital discharge summary

The Discharge summary has a contact number and name of the person to be contacted during an emergency. 

The doctor would have advised the symptoms to watch out for in case the illness escalates. Alternately other symptoms may also emerge like vomiting, diarrheas, nausea, pain, bleeding etc, which warrant contact with emergency .

Your doctor may be reached by phone, whatsap or through his secretary also. 

Send a voice message and a picture of your problem if you can to the doctor by message and whatsap, 

Remember to give your reference, write your full name, and your illness in brief, on the message so that the doctor can place you.

Contact the Emergency department of the Hospital in case no one answers.

RELEVANT LINKS for further reading

after surgery discomforts and complications

common postoperative complications leaflet

Some hospitals have information about agencies who provide nursing attendants. These may be skilled, semi -skilled or just un -skilled. Choose an agency that is reliable and verify the cleanliness and safety of its people. Check the credentials by asking other references from patients or nurses from within the hospital.

Many such agencies have been functioning for providing homecare for patients.

Some hospitals have started their own home care programs and can be relied upon for sending attendants who are trained and safe. If someone is absent, the advantage is that you can get another person in place of the first one.

However it is the eye of the care giver to supervise the work of the attendant, the family is the best care giver.

RELEVANT LINKS for further reading:

how to choose an in home nurse

points to consider when choosing nursingcare

Surgical wounds need special care in dressing to avoid infection, and promote healing. Such wounds should be dressed in the hospital facility.

Bigger wounds need nurses to change bandages. Smaller wounds can be handled by the care giver or nursing attendant at home.

Handle the patient with clean hands, gloves, and masks at all times. Do not wet the bandages. Keep them adequately covered while bathing, or avoid bath until doctor gives permission. 

Use clean and sterile bandages, avoid touching the area by your hands. Use antiseptic or anti bacterial compounds for the dressing.

In some instances, anti biotics maybe needed 

Patient support groups may come to your aid in such cases, as they offer home care.

RELEVANT LINKS for further reading:

How to Control infections at Home 



Your discharge report will indicate the need for physiotherapy or ny other therapy to speed up your safe recovery

Some surgical interventions make the affected organ sluggish. In order to get back full energy and power, physio therapy, or heat therapy, or similar recommendation by your doctor, will hasten the recovery process. Some interventions need special equipment to perform PT.

Usually the hospital may have a PT department. If not, you can go to any other hospital or private clinic who has PT facility 

You can take a package – of a certain number of days- or avail daily visits for such treatment. 

Ensure that the technician is trained and qualified to perform the PT. Treat the PT supervisor like your doctor. Explain the original symptoms, history, treatment, and follow up advised by your doctor before commencing any PT. 

Once you have followed the process, if you do not need special equipment, you can continue the treatment at home.

RELEVANT LINKS for further reading:

rehab after surgery

post surgical rehabilitation

The caregiver needs to understand the illness, and state of the patient with empathy. 

Follow doctors orders, and do not add own recipes for treatment.

Take the patient into confidence about his illness, progress and permission when you take certain decisions. The patient is entitled to making decisions about his own health and life.

If you have another attendant to help, supervise their work, do not leave the entire care to the third person.

The care giver is just a care giver, not a doctor, however much he may wish, he is not responsible for the cure of the disease. So let this not become a point of distress.

It is most important for care giver to look after himself or herself. The tension of the patient rubs off on the care giver, so it is essential to take car of person needs, food, rest and mental care.

RELEVANT LINKS for further reading:



In most facilities, special arrangements have been made for persons with disabilities. 

Remember to disclose your particular situation to the doctor or nurse, so that your care is not compromised.

Some patient support groups have focussed on individual disabilities. 

Make use of such PSG s and ask for help in the hospital. 

RELEVANT LINKS for further reading:

Disability & Health Information for Family Caregivers

6 tips for caring for patients with disabilities

Old age hurts and affects all of us in time. Special facilities have been created in hospitals for older people. 

Ask for help form nursing or attendants in case you cannot handle your own chores. 

Remember to share your problems with the doctor before starting treatment.

RELEVANT LINKS for further reading:

Home are for Elderly 




Medicines are essentially some form of chemicals and get effected by temperature, moisture and light. Additionally tablets that are not in strips could also alter its composition if exposed to atmospheric oxygen. Some medicines incl injectables are unstable at normal room temperatures. All these alter their molecular structure andmake them ineffective and some cases even harmful.

It is therefore important that medicines are stored generally in cool environment and away from sunlight. There are some which have to move thru cold chain and stored in refrigerated condition.Several medicines have similar looking packaging and one could make a mistake in administering them and need to be kept separately. The medicines should be kept in safe but accessible place which is out of Children’s reach. To meet emergency need some commonly used medicines and a first aid kit should always be at home. Please ask your physician of what medicines to keep and their purpose. Suitably label these medicines so that you can take in case of emergencythough self- administration of medicines is not recommended.

RELEVANT LINKS For further Reading: 

How to fill your Pillbox

Medication Safety at Home: How and Where to Safely Store Medicine | GET RELIEF RESPONSIBLY

First-aid kits: Stock supplies that can save lives - Mayo Clinic

Where is the best place to keep your medicines at home? 

Storing & Organizing Your Medicines The Right Way At Home - Style Degree

Just like food items , fresh or packaged , medicines too have a defined shelf life. By regulation the Pharma companies have to specify the expiry date on the medicine packaging .Most medicines have some additional potency build in so that till the expiry period it will still be effective. 

Beyond expiry date the potency will be lower than the dosage recommended and will not be effective, In many. cases the degradation is rapid and the expired medicines will not be effective and could also be harmful. There is a lot of debate on this but as a matter of caution it is advisable not to use. medicines past their expiry date.

In some cases if there is emergency and new medicines are not possible to buy , they may still be used if the period beyond their expiry date is short even though the potency will be lower. Do consult your physician for this. It will be prudent to buy only as much medicine as the prescription specifies and reduce keeping extra stocks.

RELEVANT LINKS For further Reading:

How Long Can You Take Medicine After the Expiration Date?

Drug Expiration Dates - Are Expired Drugs Still Safe to Take?

Drug expiry debate: the myth and the reality

Is it ok to use medications past their expiration dates? - Harvard Health

Drug Expiration Dates — Do They Mean Anything? - Harvard Health

You may be left with unwanted medicines because you got better sooner , or the doctor changed the prescription or in some cases the minimum quantity sold is higher than your needs . By choice do not hoard unnecessary or extra medicines ,
instead return them to your chemist. Many times the the chemist will not take back the medicines if it is not a full strip, they have expired or the packaging is bad and the medicine bottles are opened.
In many countries and cities, you can donate the medicines for use by lesser privileged people. Your own physician will be happy to take the unused medicines. 

We must be careful in throwing these medicines in the trash as some of them can be harmful to the environment.

RELEVANT LINKS For further Reading




All our bodies are different . Many of us are allergic to certain foods like , nuts allergy, gluten allergy, lactose intolerance etc. Similarly several of us have allergy to certain drugs like to sulfer drugs, antibiotics, penicillin etc.Sometimes a drug may cause mild or severe reaction if you have an allergy .Doctors normally ask you for your known allergies before prescribing medicines.The problem is when you do not know about your allergies and experience them for the first time.See a doctor for immediate attention in case of choking, rash, fever or vomiting.Keep track of allergic medicines for future history (to inform another doctor.)

RELEVANT LINKS For further Reading

What are medication allergies

How to know if I am allergic to any medicine

All medicines are either a single chemical compound or a combination of a few.Drug companies sell them not by their generic names but they brand them with trade names. The doctors typically prescribe the medicines by their trade names that they know.

Unless the medicine is very special and is still under patent rightsmost medicines have alternate trade names with same composition.It is possible that the name of the medicine prescribed by the doctor is not available at your nearest chemist. The chemist however has access to the data base of all medicines and can easily search and let you know of alternate brands .If the composition is 100 % the same buy the alternate trade name or ask the doctor for an alternative. In most cases you will be able to find alternate medicines. On the internet as well you can find alternate brands with the same composition.

RELEVANT LINKS For further Reading

alternate brands in case of non availability of a particular brand

Medicines are expensive and there have been reported cases of spurious look alike medicines being sold . These are very risky to take as not only they can harm you but more importantly you are not getting the treatment that was prescribed and your illness could get worse. Drug manufacturing companies are also dealing with this problem and they try to make packaging etc not easy to copy but the problem persists.
To avoid this , you must buy from well known and trusted chemists and pharmacies. The penalties associated with spurious drugs are high and good pharmacies are very careful on how they source their supplies . You should also be vigilant to see if you suspect any unusual colour change of the packaging or poor quality printing etc All medicines have batch numbers etc which are printed along with the price and expiry dates. Always check the batch number, manufacturing date and expiry date. Many technologies are in the works to ensure that only genuine medicines reach you.

RELEVANT LINKS For further Reading

Spurious Drugs / Counterfeit Drugs - An Overview | PharmaTutor

Drugs and cosmetics act-Control Of Spurious Drugs

6 Ways to Check Authenticity of Medicines at Home

We all have common illnesses in the family. In some cases resting it out along with some basic medications which are available without doctor’s prescription. It is important to keep basic OTC medicines available at home. However these may be used with caution, only for simple ailments. Do not take medication without consulting your doctor for major symptoms. 

From time to time, please discard old and outdated medicines. It will be advisable to ask your family doctor to make a list of common medicines you should keep at home. The doctor based on your specific needs can determine this list to be used in case of emergency even before you are able to consult a doctor. These should be all labelled with details of why and when to take them. A first aid kit is always handy for emergency use. In addition to this common handy medical devices like thermometer, oxymeter, BP machine, steam inhalers, cold and hot formentation bags , stretch bandages are good to keep. 

Your pharmacist can assist you with listing and buying some of these non drug items.

RELEVANT LINKS for further reading

Common medicines to be kept at home


Extra caution needs to be exercised when you are travelling. Always carry your prescriptions and last medical review reports with you just in case you need medical help and you will need to show these to the doctor in that location . 

For example if you have history of any cardiac episode your ECG will alter permanently and a recent ECG will help the new doctor compare if there are any additional changes . Remember to take daily regular medicines along with you for the entire duration of the travel. You must make provision fro unplanned extensions and keep extra medications. 

If you are travelling overseas the chemist there may not be familiar with Indian brands and hence it is important for you to know the main salt in your medicines. 

Also the chemist may not sell any prescribed medicine unless there is a prescription from an approved practitioners. It is advisable to carry extra OTC medicines along with you, even if you do not have symptoms right now. 

You must also carry some medications , specifically prescribed regular medicines in your handbag, on your person, in case you have an emergency or your flight gets late or your checked in baggage does not come on time. 

Please always carry your current medication list on your mobile phone or wallet include any vitamin supplements and OTC medicines you may be taking

Always have your doctors contact details handy when traveling should you have to consult him or even brief the doctors attending you in the city of travel.

RELEVANT LINKS for further reading

What medicines to carry when you are traveling https://www.fitfortravel.nhs.uk/advice/general-travel-health-advice/travelling-with-medicines

Several times we have multiple ailments and we consult several specialists. For example, I may have cardiac issues and also knee or spine pain. The cardiologist and the orthopaedic will prescribe different medicines and some times these drugs may adversely interact . It is always good to have your general physician or your primary specialist like the cardiologist guide you. 

When ever you are visiting a doctor/ specialist always share the current medication so that they can suitably eventuate any interactions or harmful side effects. Most doctors are aware of the adverse interactions of mixing medicines and will work out what is most suitable.

RELEVANT LINKS for further reading

How to handle multiple medicines and prescriptions

Preventing Drug Interactions


Often our own habits of irregularity, excess or deprivation affect our bodies.

When we are young, our bodies may be able to sustain a healthy physiology, but over a period of time, our organs come under duress and protest by manifesting several illness.

Some of the factors that are negative are:

  • Under or over eating, incorrect items of consumption
  • Usage of drugs, tobacco, liquor, and harmful psychotropic substances
  • Lack of sleep or irregular hours of sleep
  • Too much work,
  • Lack of physical exercise
  • Mental stress or over thinking
  • Too little rest
  • Imbalance among work and play

Hence it is important to be aware, responsible and vigilant about our lifestyle, in order to keep our bodies functioning well.

RELEVANT LIKS. For further reading:

Six Tips to Enhance Immunity | DNPAO | CDC

How To Build Immunity


  • While we live healthy, many other environmental and hereditary factors besides our lifestyle, may be the cause of illnesses. It may not be your fault at all.
  • The earlier you identify an illness, the better the chances of its cure.
  • During preventive health check ups, it may be possible to have an early diagnosis of an impending disease, or if it is already present, you can catch it early.
  • Hence it is advisable to have PHC annually.

RELEVANT LINKS for further reading

Preventive Care - Healthy People 2030 | health.gov

10 Health Tests and Screenings Every Man Should Get

5 Things You Need to Know About Your Executive Check-up | The Hospital at Msayo

  • You cannot prevent all illnesses. But over a period of time, scientists, doctors and researchers have developed some preventive drugs which go a long way in preventing common infectious diseases. These are termed as vaccinations.
  • Children are compulsorily administered vaccines in their infancy for polio, whooping cough, measles, small pox etc.
  • Adults can take vaccines for measles, flu etc. (see list in link attached(. There is a seasonal timetable for optimum consumption of such medicines.
  • Ask your doctor before you take such vaccinations, in case you have any allergy to the drug compound, or any ailment that is in conflict with your vaccination.

RELEVANT LINKS for further reading:

Adult Immunization Schedule by Vaccine and Age Group | CDC

Vaccines for adults: Which do you need? - Mayo Clinic

Young Adult Inoculation and Adolescent Immunization Essentials

  • Some illnesses are cured completely leaving behind no trace of any handicap or disability. Some take long to reach full cure, and others are healed faster. Normal way of life is therefore the pre illness state of affairs.
  • But often times, serious illnesses may leave behind a different state in the human body. Such attributes may include chronic pain, hyper tension, diabetes, slow digestion, low energy, etc
  • Lifestyle choices may help you to live in the New Normal state of your body with comfort and least pain.
  • Over a period of time, the negative residual effects of the ailment may subside, sufficient to make you feel “Normal” again
  • Often due to a serious or unhappy incident in your life, you may be depressed temporarily.
  • Such anxieties may be linked to unpleasant events, or maybe part of your nature even when the event is no longer a trigger. Seek a doctor , a counsellor, for curing this state.
  • Every hospital has a psychiatry ward or department. Specialised hospitals like IHBAS cater to only such illnesses.
  • Some medication may be needed in the beginning, along with counselling
  • Therapies like occupational therapy, art therapy etc, also help
  • Counsellors will also help to remove or deal with anxieties over a period of time.


 You have faced an avoidable harm (MOHAN give link to avoidable harm in FAQs) and have gone through a lot of suffering, costs, emotional turmoil and in some cases loss of life of loved ones. While the harm caused may not be reversible it is important that individuals and organisations that may have made errors in your medical journey learn from the mistakes. In some situations you may decide to take legal recourse but more importantly your safety incident and harm caused should help learning and avoidance of similar incidents in future. 

Disclaimer: We are not aiming to be a complaint redressal organisation Or help you in resolving your specific issue. 

However your stories will greatly help in:

  • Identifying causes of avoidable harm and errors
  • Reduction of incidents of avoidable harm in future
  • Creating new processes, safety policies and higher quality standards
  • Used as case studies for training the medical fraternity and in medical/nursing schools as real examples
  • Accreditation agencies also compile such incidents and incorporate in their assessment of healthcare organizations

It is very easy for you to share your story and we will assist you in the process. Just click on the button. SPEAK UP And we will guide you through:

Guidelines: these may be of help in sharing your story:

  • Your story can be as text, an audio recording or a video recording. 
  • The story can be shared by the patient , caregiver or a family member/friend important on how well you have stated your situation and the harm caused . 
  • A story should give some details of your illness, treatment, where you felt something went wrong in your medical journey. The timeline and year, would be of help. 
  • In which area did the mistake happen? Nurse? Doctor? surgery or in medication?
  • Do indicate why you think it was an avoidable harm, and what could have been different 
  • Did you inform the hospital or the doctor about the harm caused and actions if any taken by them
  • You have faced irreversible harm and are perhaps emotional about it. However when you write the story try to be brief and objective. 

A simple questionnaire is also available in the section SPEAK UP, you may upload information on this questionnaire, or simple send us an email with all details at _______(@Mohan email address)

There are other PATIENT STORIES on our website shared by people like you. Use them as examples. (@Mohan please upload storeis, and give linkage here)

Your story is very important and precious to us. We will not directly publish this on the website without reviewing it. We will seek clarifications from you if necessary, with your permission we will make minor edits to improve the readability an impact. We will take your final approval before publishing on the website. Your identity will be kept confidential and story anonymous.

To assist us we have a panel of very senior individuals from the society and medical practitioners who form the Screening Committee and would determine if a story is complete and worth publishing. The final selection will be done by them.

  • We will be encouraging health care providers to read and use your stories and examples in their training programs and in their process reviews . 
  • Similarly we will be sharing the stories with accrediting Organisations like NABH to review and include in there assessing policies 

Remember our purpose is not to approach or complain to the specific hospital , doctor or the diagnostic lab where the harm has occurred.

We respect your privacy and will always honour and protect it. 

  • The choice will be entirely yours if you would like to lend your name face to the story, but if not, we will keep it anonymous. 
  • We will not share your contact details, email address, phone number ,with anyone. 

The only reason we ask you for your contact details is to connect with you, to seek clarifications and help improve the impact of your story. It also helps us ensure that the stories we are publishing are in fact real and credible..

  • We would anonymise the names, but mention general facts.
  • Our Screening Committee will ensure propriety and authenticity of the story.

We would like to emphasise that you are making a big contribution in improving the safety standards of healthcare and in prevention of avoidable harm. Your efforts to narrate your story is invaluable in providing real and honest feedback to the healthcare fraternity which is committed to providing safe and effective health care.

Each story is valuable and each incident of avoidable harm relevant for learning. Our objective is provide a platform for patients and their families to be able to share the mis-experiences and the harm that has been caused as well as a platform for health care providers to access the stories and take corrective action in their respective organisations as well as include your real cases in their training programs. In any case you may have shared your story and filed a formal complaint at the hospital where the harm may have been caused. 

P4PSI and our partners and promoting organisations have connects with the healthcare ecosystem and we would be encouraging them to access your stories and use them. While it may be very difficult for us to report back to you on the specific actions that the health care organizations took based on your individual feedback. However it is our strong conviction that all the collective stories will make has significant positive impact in improving healthcare standards

 All accredited organisations will state if they are accredited and will show the logo prominently . They will put it in all letterheads, reports, prescriptions . If you cannot find one please ask if they are accredited. You can ask for proof, The certificate is to be publicly displayed . NABH/ JCI is authorised to conduct the audit, and their certificate is valid for 4 years from date of issue. 

The logo will look like. ( Put NABH, JCI logo ) 

 Accreditation is a process of independent audit of a medical facility including infrastructure, clinical care standards and processes, patient safety, patient rights and management governance and legal compliance. Hospitals, Blood banks, Dental clinic, Eye care organisations, Wellness centres, diagnostic laboratories, and nursing homes are covered by this certification. 

 In an accredited organization, patient receives higher quality of care, with assurance of nationally/ internationally accepted standards, in a transparent and ethical manner. Your safety and patient rights are protected. You get a chance to offer feedback, and take ownership of your own care. 

 Accreditation enables the healthcare organization in demonstrating commitment to deliver quality and safe patient care, builds credibility and improves loyalty of patients. It provides a framework for continual internal improvement, self -regulation, and protects against legal liability. It also attracts talented staff and improves retention by offering professional development. 

 A medical facility does not cost more just because it is accredited. The basic nature, speciality, location, level of quality and care, infrastructure and patient experience will influence the cost structure. The time may or may not be more, but the period from when a patient enters the facility up to his getting treatment is also monitored in an accredited facility. 

 Medical errors are less likely in an accredited hospital, hence it is advisable to go to an Accredited facility, where you can get standardised , transparent and assured care. 

 Each state has a list of NABH accredited hospitals (NABH) and laboratories (NABL) on its Website 

 The NABH Accreditation and Certification addresses ten domains- five of which are patient centric and five are hospital centric. 

  • Each domain has an Intent, and broadly defined standards. as to what an organisation needs to do, have or maintain, to implement safe and quality medical care.
  • Clear objective elements are listed under each standard, which can be measured to ensure standardised care which is safe and high quality, both for processes and people. It also covers facilities, management, patient rights, legal and financial governance.
  • The processes are documented, feedback is captured, analysed and processes are recalibrated for continuous improvement.
  • Levels of quality and KPIs ensure a certain standard is maintained and aspired for, thus building a safety and quality culture.