U.S. Department of Health and Human Services


Patient Safety

20 Tips to Help Prevent Medical Errors: Patient Fact Sheet

This consumer information fact sheet explains what medical errors are and what you can do to prevent medical errors from occurring in your own health care.

Review Date: November 06, 2012

Agency for Healthcare Research and Quality

Becoming a Research Volunteer: It's Your Decision- (PDF)

This brochure provides information and questions to ask before you agree to participate in a research study.

Review Date: December 10, 2012

Office of Human Research Protections, U.S. Department of Health and Human Services

Checklist for Getting the Right Diagnosis

Print this checklist to guide you in taking an active role in working with your doctor or nurse when you are ill.

Review Date: February 03, 2011

National Patient Safety Foundation

Dental X-Rays

Dental X-ray examinations provide valuable information that helps your dentist evaluate your oral health. If you have questions about your dental X-ray exam, talk with your dentist.

Review Date: November 12, 2012

American Dental Association

Five Steps to Safer Health Care

This fact sheet tells what you can do to get safer health care.

Review Date: March 11, 2013

Agency for Healthcare Research and Quality

Medical Errors: Tips to Help Prevent Them

Learn how you can help to prevent medical errors by taking part in every decision about your health care.

Review Date: March 12, 2013

American Academy of Family Physicians

MedWatch: Report a Serious Medical Product Problem Online

Use the Medwatch online form to report serious adverse events, potential and actual medical product errors, and product quality problems associated with the use of FDA-regulated drugs, biologics, devices, and dietary supplements.

Review Date: December 18, 2012

Center for Drug Evaluation and Research, U.S. Food and Drug Administration

Patient Safety: Podcast

The Institute of Medicine estimates that as many as 98,000 people die in U.S. hospitals each year as the result of lapses in patient safety. This program features an interview with AHRQ Director, Dr. Carolyn Clancy, discussing this important issue.

Review Date: September 11, 2012

Agency for Healthcare Research and Quality

Pharmacy Compounding- (PDF)

Know the facts when it comes to pharmacy compounding.

Review Date: October 24, 2012

United States Anti-Doping Agency

Possible Side-effects from Vaccines

Being vaccinated is much safer than contracting the disease vaccines prevent. This page answers some common questions about vaccine side effects and describes the mild, moderate, and severe side effects associated with specific vaccines.

Review Date: January 31, 2013

Centers for Disease Control and Prevention - CDC
U.S. Department of Health and Human Services


Find out how various x-ray, CT, MRI, ultrasound, radiation therapy and other procedures are performed. Learn about patient safety, what you may experience, and how to prepare for exams.

Review Date: November 09, 2012

American College of Radiology

Reducing Radiation from Medical X-rays- (PDF)

Along with their tremendous value, medical X-rays have a drawback: they expose people to radiation. Learn how you can have a critical role in reducing radiation while still getting the maximum benefit from X-ray exams.

Review Date: November 05, 2012

U.S. Food and Drug Administration

Should You Seek Consultation (Second Opinion)?

There are no hard-and-fast rules to tell you when consultation (or second opinion) is needed. Ask your surgeon questions before you agree to an operation.

Review Date: July 25, 2011

American College of Surgeons

Very Low Health Risks from Full-Body X-ray Scanners

Extensive use of full-body scanning technologies, including the general-use X-ray systems, is a relatively new development. Thus it's natural for people to have questions—including questions about whether these systems pose any health risks.

Review Date: November 09, 2012

U.S. Food and Drug Administration

Your Medicine: Be Smart. Be Safe.

Learn how to take medicines safely by reading this guide. Keep the guide with your medicines, and use the wallet card provided.

Review Date: June 22, 2011

Agency for Healthcare Research and Quality