In 2016 Johns Hopkins Hospital, one of the nations leading medical facilities reported that:

10 percent of all U.S. deaths are now due to medical error.

Third highest cause of death in the U.S. is medical error.

Medical errors are an under-recognized cause of death.

Patients can minimize their risks by keeping a close eye on their care. Hospitals are busy places with lots of moving parts. You cannot assume that people in the hospital have a really clear idea of who you are or why you’re there. The following tips can help protect yourself in the event of a hospitalization.

Bring an advocate, like a friend or family member, especially for check-in and discharge. You should also bring a notebook. Write down all your medications, why you take them and who prescribed them. Include phone numbers of key personal and medical contacts (and don’t forget your cellphone and charger). In the hospital, when questions arise you can use the notebook to write them down. If you bring a bottle of hand sanitizer and put it by your bed, it will remind you and the staff to keep hands clean. Lastly, before signing any consent, be sure you understand any procedures being done.

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