Ask Me 3


Three questions to help you and your care partners better understand your health

What can you do to make sure you understand what your healthcare team has told you and, just as important, what is expected of you once you go home?

Learn to “Ask Me 3.”

Ask Me 3 is a program designed to help promote shared information between healthcare providers and patients. Originally developed by the National Patient Safety Foundation’s Partnership for Clear Health Communication, Ask Me 3 teaches staff members to encourage patients to ask their providers three essential questions so they will understand their illnesses better and any other concerns they may have.

Know the Right Words

Every profession has its own terminology and lingo—words that everyone in that profession knows and understands but might be confusing to others. Healthcare is no different. Has someone told you that you need a procedure? That just means something that is done to treat your problem, such as an operation.

Here are some words that your healthcare team might use but that you might not readily understand.

If someone uses a term you don’t know or you aren’t sure of the meaning, ask him or her to explain it more clearly for you.

The Three Questions Are:

1. What is my main problem? What is really wrong? Do I have a bad heart or is it something else? You may have more than one health issue. Diabetes often leads to heart problems, but diabetes may still be the main concern.

2. What do I need to do? For example, when you get home from the hospital, when you pick up your prescription or when you go for therapy. Make sure you know exactly what is expected of you after you’ve talked to your healthcare team.

3. Why is it important for me to do this? If you don’t understand what your main problem is and don’t know what you need to do, you won’t understand why it is important for you to follow the doctor’s orders once you’re on your own or a family member is caring for you.

Using these three simple questions can help you recover better, and keep you from returning to the doctor’s office or be readmitted to the hospital for the same health issue.

Ask Me 3 is used under contract with the National Patient Safety Foundation,

For more on this and other health education, please visit Parrish Medical Center’s community blog at  Whether it’s personalized health education, breaking news or a message from your physician, count on HealthBridge to get it to you quickly on your smartphone, tablet, computer or in the mail.