There are over 200,000 preventable deaths that happen yearly in the United States as a result of medical errors. Twenty times more people suffer from injuries that they don't die from, making medical errors a serious cause for concern.
As someone who has suffered an injury at the hands of a medical provider, it can be difficult to put your trust into someone new. Fortunately, you can take steps to make sure injuries like those you suffered never take place again. How? Try these three tips.
- Check your prescriptions
One of the first things you can do is to check your prescriptions for errors. Double check the name of the drug and make sure it's for the purpose you believe it should be for. If not, have the pharmacist call your doctor to verify the medication you should be taking.
- Check and recheck patient identification information
Before a surgery or office visit, take time to update your patient information. When the doctor addresses you, make sure he or she uses the correct name. If not, correct him or her. Before surgeries, you should receive a bracelet that states your name and birth date. If it is wrong, don't feel bad about requesting changes, since they could have confused you with another patient.
- Be prepared to say no
There may come a time when you feel uncomfortable with a treatment plan or the way a visit is being handled. Be prepared to refuse medical care if you feel that the doctors or nurses are confused about what you're supposed to have done. It's worth waiting a few days to guarantee your safety.
Your safety is of the utmost importance. If you're hurt at a hospital, you can learn more about your options on our website.