National Patient Safety Awareness Week is almost here. Scheduled to take place from March 13 – 19, National Patient Safety Awareness Week seeks to raise familiarity with certain patient safety concerns – such as the prevalence of healthcare associated infections (HAIs) – and ways to prevent patient harm from occurring. Here are some things that you can do as a patient to stay safe when visiting a doctor’s office or hospital:
Speak Up and Ask Questions
Too often, patients visit their doctors and feel rushed, and therefore fail to take the time to express concerns or ask questions. Opening communication paths between doctors and patients, however, may be part of the key to reducing the prevalently of medical errors, including the frequency of misdiagnosis and medication errors.
If you have questions or concerns, voice them – doing so may help to protect you in the long run or raise awareness regarding a potential medical mistake.
Do Your Homework
Before visiting a doctor or hospital, do some research first. Has the hospital had any recent outbreaks of infections? Has anyone named the doctor or surgeon in any malpractice suits? What is the staff to patient ratio in the hospital or nursing home? The more that you know about a hospital’s, doctor’s office’s, or doctor’s history, the more informed – and smart – your decision will be.
Bring a Friend or Family Member
Bringing a friend of family member, especially if the condition for which you are seeking care is neurological or cognitive in nature, can be helpful. A friend or family member can take notes for you, clarify information provided by the doctor, help to identify problems, and ask questions.
Clarify Who You Are and Why You Are There
It may sound crazy, but there are dozens of case of wrong patient surgery and wrong site surgery reported in the United States every year. To ensure that you receive the appropriate treatment, always confirm with your doctor who you are and the reason you are visiting.
Contact a Florida Medical Malpractice Attorney
As a patient, you have a responsibility to ask questions and be proactive about your care. However, you are not responsible for ensuring that a doctor or hospital does not make an error leading to harm. If you are a victim of medical malpractice in Ft. Lauderdale, the medical malpractice team at the Montero Law Center wants to meet with you to discuss your case today.