How to reduce the risk of dangerous and often painful medical errors:
- Be involved with your own care. This means asking questions! Patients who are more involved with their own care tend to have better results so get involved!
- Be sure ALL providers know ALL the prescriptions, over the counter medicines and supplements you are taking.
- Be sure you can read the prescription that the doctor wrote and then double check the pharmacy filled and gave you the correct prescription AND dosage.
- When you have a choice in hospitals, do some research and choose a hospital that does a lot of the required procedures and has a low mortality rate. While this does not guarantee positive results, it does increase your odds of a positive outcome
- Make sure everyone that touches you washes their hands. Post operative infections are a huge risk, so take charge and protect yourself!
- If you are having surgery be sure that EVERYONE is clear on what and where is being operated on. Watch them mark the surgical spot to make sure it is correct.
- If you have a test and don’t hear back, call and follow up. Don’t assume that they would only not call if it was good news.
- Ask about side effects and risks of treatments and speak up about your questions and concerns.
Medical professionals work very hard to help heal people, so it is important to treat them with respect. They should not take offence when you ask them for more information about any course of treatment or if they’ve washed their hands. In fact, they will likely appreciate it and respect you even more.
Remember, you are a key player in the team that is dedicated to restoring your health, so be an active participant and reap the rewards of better health.