Tips for Preventing a Medical Error Happening to You

The inner workings of a hospital are very complicated. Doctors, nurses, aides, technicians, receptionists, administrative personnel, and countless others all work together to make your hospital experience go as problem free as possible. However, with so many people performing so many different tasks, things do not go as smoothly as many would hope.

No matter what you call them—mistakes, medical errors, complications—too many of these problems are due to medical negligence. Sadly, in the end, you may end up suffering.

However, you may not be entirely powerless against these mistakes. We’ve provided you with some helpful advice to prevent a medical mistake from happening to you. Here are a few more tips that focus on medical malpractice and your hospital visit.

5 Tips to Prevent Hospital Medical Errors

  1. Ask every person who touches you if they have washed their hands. Did they put on clean, disposable gloves in front of you? These simple steps can prevent the spread of harmful germs.
  2. If you’re having surgery, make sure that you, your surgeon, and your primary care physician (PCP) all agree on the procedure and the safest measures to take.
  3. Be sure to have your PCP coordinate your care at the hospital, especially if you have a complicated medical history. Your primary doctor is familiar with your medical history, all of your medications, and other factors that a hospital might not be aware of. These factors can influence the success or failure of your hospital medical care.
  4. Choose a hospital, if possible, that specializes in your procedure. If you are having a heart-related procedure, choose a hospital known for their cardiac specialists and a history of successful heart surgeries.
  5. Before being discharged, have your doctor go through your at-home treatment plan step by step. This can include vital information about any new medications (dosage, time duration, etc…), scheduling a follow-up appointment, when you can resume your normal activities or if you have any restrictions, or even if you should continue taking your old medications.

You really can be your own advocate and ally in the battle between trusting your hospital care providers and your personal health. Remember that no question is too meaningless to ask, and honest and open communication between you, your physician, and hospital medical staff can help to reduce your chances of falling prey to a medical error.

If you have any other questions about Maryland hospital medical malpractice please contact our team at Lewis & Tompkins today.