Medical errors made by doctors, hospitals, pharmacists, or other agents of healthcare can be deadly. In fact, at least 220,000 people die each year from preventable medical errors, according to a study done by The Journal of Patient Safety. Though doctors make preventable mistakes, it’s important patients know how to watch out for mistakes that can lead to injury and malpractice.
Patients Can Help to Avoid Medical Malpractice
Understanding your rights as a patient is crucial to being your own advocate—thereby being better prepared to be help your doctor or other medical providers catch any mistakes they might make. The following are tips for avoiding doctor, nurse, and hospital errors that often lead to medical malpractice lawsuits:
- Conduct thorough research. When it comes time to choose a physician or a hospital, you often have many options. Begin by asking your friends or other medical professionals who they would recommend. Then, meet with each option to establish rapport and inspect the facilities. The medical board in each state is also a good resource for researching competent doctors and hospitals.
- Be your own advocate. As a patient, it’s important you learn everything you can about your illness or injury, proposed treatments, and proposed medications. By doing this, you set yourself up to ask detailed questions and catch inconsistencies. Additionally, you can bring along another person to assist you with asking hard questions and understanding complex procedures. Don’t be afraid to speak up if you have doubts, concerns, or need clarification. Your doctor is there to help you.
- Be honest. Sometimes, giving details to your medical team about how you handle a medical condition can feel embarrassing. However, it’s important you leave nothing out. Record and communicate abnormalities in your daily life, allergies, your complete medical history, what medications you take, symptoms, and genetic history. Medical professionals need a complete picture to diagnose and treat properly.
- Follow up. After seeing your physician and working with her to create a plan for recovery or further treatment, following doctor orders is essential. Additionally, make sure to show up prepared with labeled medications and clear records to all doctor appointments. Finally, keep abreast of test results, and never assume that no news is good news.
We’re Here If You Need Help
If you have questions about preventing medical malpractice, or you need help with your medical malpractice case, we can be a valuable resource for you. The legal team at Tavss Fletcher has successfully handled medical malpractice cases and recovered compensation for people just like you. To speak with an experienced attorney, fill out the online contact form on our website today.