Authored By: Iris Garrett
There’s not many people out there who would say they enjoy going to the doctor. It can be a routine procedure or a medical emergency, but the majority of patients will try to avoid a hospital visit at all costs. Their reason? The risk that an ordinary walk-in will result in a very serious medical error.
Mick Grewal, Sr. writes about these risks in an article in The Legal Examiner. He says studies have shown that as many as 98,000 people each year will die after being subject to a medical error in U.S. hospitals, while other statistics place that death toll much higher. Grewal says because these errors take place on a regular basis, the fear many people have toward their doctor may be warranted. However, there are ways to reduce the risk of falling prey to medical errors.
Keep Doctors in the Loop: Grewal says make sure your physicians have full, up-to-date information concerning your health, the medications you are taking, and any allergies you have. He says to also supply a detailed list of all vitamins, herbal remedies or supplements you take. This way, a doctor will be less likely to prescribe you a drug or treatment that interacts negatively with existing medication.
Choose Hospitals Carefully: Grewal says take time to research available hospitals and select one that is able to treat your specific medical condition or needs. He also says do not hesitate to ask your physician or nurse to wash their hands before making any physical contact.
Advocate for Yourself: If something seems off at any time during treatment, Grewal says speak up right away. A lot of medical errors are observed by patients but are never brought up out of fear of challenging the authority of the doctor. Grewal says act as your own advocate and address the issue with hospital staff (because everyone makes mistakes).
To read Mick Grewal, Sr.’s full article, click here.
Photo Credit: Cathy Yeulet