A woman wearing a Mercy Health lanyard smiles at a patient who is on a machine.

Top tips for safe health care

These top tips are designed to help patients, families, carers and other support people get the most out of your health care. They have been developed by the Australian Commission on Safety and Quality in Health Care in partnership with consumers.

What you need to know for yourself, your family or someone you care for:

Tip 1 – Ask questions

You have the right to ask questions about your care.

Tip 2 – Find good quality and reliable health information

Not all information is reliable. Ask your doctor for guidance.

Tip 3 – Understand the risks and benefits of medical tests, treatments and procedures

Find out about your tests and treatments before they happen.

Tip 4 – Keep a list of all the medicines you are taking

Ask your doctor or pharmacist if you need more information about the medicines you are taking.

Tip 5 – Confirm what will happen before your operation or other procedure

Ask to be told who will be doing your procedure and what will happen to you.

Tip 6 – Ask about your care when you leave hospital

Ask for a written outline of your treatment and what should happen after you get home.

Tip 7 – Know your rights and responsibilities

You have a number of rights and responsibilities as a patient.

Tip 8 – Understand privacy and to accessing your medical record

Your medical information is confidential. You can ask to see your medical record.

Tip 9 – Your feedback helps improve healthcare safety and quality

Feedback helps health professionals spot when improvements can be made.


Top tips for safe health care are available in a booklet that provides detailed practical advice and is translated in 15 different languages.


The Top Tips for Safe Health Care booklet is produced by the Australian Commission on Safety and Quality in Health, and can be accessed via their website at: https://www.safetyandquality.gov.au/toptips/

Last reviewed September 26, 2017.

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Advance care planning can help you receive the treatment of your choice in the future. It can also help your doctors and family understand what you want and what is important to you.

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Access your information

The Freedom of Information Act 1982 (Vic) enables you to make an application for access to information.

Access your information