HOW PATIENTS CAN HELP REDUCE MEDICAL ERRORS
We spend most of our professional time representing the victims of medical malpractice and those who have been abused and neglected in nursing homes. A recent article in USA Today states that 34 percent of people say either they or a family member has experienced a medical error. Read the article here.
Patients and family member can take an active role in preventing such errors. Eight simple strategies include:
1. Bring an advocate. Your advocates can step in if you are too groggy or weak to speak for yourself.
2. Prepare a Health Profile. Write down your medical conditions, allergies and medications.
3. Avoid wrong-site surgery.
4. Double-check all your medications and treatments before accepting them.
5. Take notes or bring a tape recorder. Studies show that patients remember less than 30%
of what doctors say.
6. Follow up. Ask when your test results will be available, then follow up if your doctor or nurse doesn’t call.
7. Educate yourself. Learn about your medications.
8. Guard against superbugs. Ask every-one who enters your hospital room to wash their hands with either soap or an alcohol-based gel.