How can patients try to prevent medical errors?

When patients undergo a medical operation, they may trust the health care professionals involved in performing the procedure. Unfortunately, an unacceptable number of people in San Bernardino and across the state of California have had their lives turned upside down due to a doctor error. From wrong-site surgery to an anesthesia error, these mistakes can result in a wide variety of complications that make life far more difficult. Patients may have to endure debilitating physical pain, a worsened medical condition and could even lose their life because of a surgical error or other medical mistake. While patients cannot always prevent errors from occurring, there are ways that people can reduce the likelihood of a mistake taking place.

The Agency for Healthcare Research and Quality provides helpful suggestions on their website for those who are concerned about experiencing a medical error and looking for ways to prevent them. For example, those who take prescriptions should make sure all of their doctors know about each medicine they take, ensure that written prescriptions are legible and correctly understood by pharmacists. Also, patients who are staying in the hospital may want to ask health care workers if they have washed their hands to prevent infections from spreading and should make sure they thoroughly understand their treatment plan once discharged from the hospital. Patients who are undergoing surgery should ensure that their doctor and surgeon understand and agree upon the details of the operation and they may want to consider staying in a hospital that has more experience performing the procedure.

This material was only put together for informational purposes and does not constitute legal advice.

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