10 Patient Safety Tips
Patients tend to treat their physicians with reverence. This sometimes means patients get tongue-tied or forget that their thoughts and opinions are important. When it comes to health issues, patients need to be as informed as possible, which means they have to ask questions to ensure they understand what a physician is suggesting as a course of treatment, whether it’s medication, a test or a procedure. Not knowing could lead to dire consequences.
Here is a list of 10 tips that will keep a patient informed regarding their treatment, and on the lookout of any possible errors.Treatments
- Ensure the treatments you are receiving are enough but not too much. Too much treatment can be just a harmful as no treatment at all.
- Ask your physician to explain treatment plans in plain English so you understand exactly what is going to take place, and why it is necessary.
- If you have a test, make sure the results are explained to you in detail, including the implications of the results.
- Make sure your doctor knows about all the medications you are taking, especially if prescribed by another doctor for treatment of another issue.
- When your doctor writes a prescription, make sure you can read it. If you cannot read it, the pharmacist might have difficulty as well. Another option – write down what the doctor tells you the about the prescription and compare that information with what the pharmacist gives you.
- Know what the medication is for, how often you should take it and when you should take it. For example, if you are prescribed a medication which is to be taken six times a day, should the doses be four hours apart around the clock or taken during a shorter time frame?
- Ask for written documentation regarding the side effects of any medication. If you experience even one, contact your physician or pharmacist immediately.
- If you have a choice, choose a hospital where the surgery or procedure had been completed successfully several times.
- Know exactly what the procedure entails, how long it should take and any possible adverse consequences the surgery may create.
- When you are discharged, have your physician explain your treatment plan for your recovery at home.
The most important thing a patient can do is ask questions. It is important to be informed at all stages of treatment. If there is an issue and it is possible that a treatment was not done correctly or the wrong treatment was offered, patients can explore the possibilities for compensation for lost wages, medical expenses and pain and suffering caused by the incorrect treatment.
For more information on how to stay safe in a medical situation, contact our medical malpractice law firm in San Jose at (408) 289-1417. We serve clients in San Mateo County, Santa Clara County, Alameda County, Monterey County and surrounding areas.