Preventing Medical Errors

Patients entering the American healthcare system are vulnerable to error, regardless of their age, gender, race, or income level. Healthcare errors happen.

According to the Institute of Medicine medical errors happen to tens of thousands of people each year. It is necessary as consumers that we become healthcare advocates for ourselves and our loved ones.

The willingness to question a physician is key in the survival of patients. When seeing a physician you must now insist on something more than a few minutes of dialog. It is imperative that you share in the decision making of your own healthcare. You need to partner up with your physician, not simply be a recipient of their medical care. Dr. J. Edward Hill, Chairman of the American Medical Association’s Board of Trustees, says, “A more informed patient makes a better patient and has a better outcome. Knowledgeable patients keep us on our toes.

Be sure that your physician informs you about your healthcare issues in terms that you can understand. Ask questions if you have doubts or concerns. Get the results of any tests and/or procedures you have had. Being an active member of your healthcare team is the single most important way that you can help prevent medical errors.

If you have been the victim of a medical error, contact an attorney right away to protect your rights.