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AHRQ and Ad Council Encourage Consumers to Ask Questions and Get More Involved in Their Health Care
Date:4/15/2009

ROCKVILLE, Md., April 15 /PRNewswire-USNewswire/ -- A new series of national public service advertisements designed to encourage consumers to get involved in their health care by knowing and asking appropriate questions when visiting their doctor or other clinicians was launched today by the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services' Agency for Healthcare Research and Quality with The Advertising Council and actress and health advocate Fran Drescher.

The new "Questions" PSAs, which were created pro bono by Grey New York, encourage all patients to become more involved in their own health care by asking questions of their doctors or other clinicians. The ads feature people asking questions in everyday situations, such as ordering food at a restaurant and buying a cell phone, but clamming up when their doctor asks if they have questions. The television, radio, print, outdoor and Web ads direct audiences to visit a comprehensive Web site, http://www.ahrq.gov/questionsaretheanswer, to learn the 10 questions every patient should think about asking when visiting their doctor or other clinicians.

"Asking your doctor or other clinicians questions about why you need a particular medical test, the potential side effects and the benefits and risks of those procedures will help you make appropriate medical decisions," said AHRQ Director Carolyn M. Clancy, M.D. "We know that patients who ask questions receive better quality health care and get better results. This campaign continues AHRQ's ongoing efforts to improve the safety and quality of health care for all Americans."

According to a survey conducted by AHRQ and the Kaiser Family Foundation, 57 percent of Americans do not believe that preventable medical errors occur often. However, an estimated 1.5 million medication errors happen every year in hospitals, doctors' offices, nursing homes and pha
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SOURCE Agency for Healthcare Research & Quality
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