Reducing Your Risk of Medical Malpractice
People want to believe that the people entrusted with their health will respond appropriately. Unfortunately, this is not always the case. There are healthcare professionals who act negligently, irresponsibly, or even maliciously. Yet, even ones who have the best interest of their patients in mind can suffer fatigue, stress, or other external factors that might compromise the treatment they provide, putting them at risk for medical error.
This does not mean that patients are powerless. There are ways to reduce the risk of experiencing a medical error. Sometimes, it as simple as talking to your doctor and ensuring that you understand the treatment they are providing. Other times, it means knowing how to be an empowered patient. The following information can help you do both.Steering Clear of the bad Doctors
Filtering out the bad doctors should not even be an issue. Moreover, one should be able to find reliable information on doctors who have acted with negligence or malicious intent. Unfortunately, the California Medical Board - the entity responsible for disciplining doctors - has received a lot of scrutiny for their failure to reliably report or discipline doctors who have injured or compromised the health of their patients.
Because of this, patients have to take matters into their own hands. They need to trust their instincts when that little voice tells them something is not okay. If they feel their doctor dismisses their concerns, is always rushing out the door, or not following through on treatment, they should find a new doctor and/or file a complaint.Staying Empowered in the Presence of a Good Doctor
Thankfully, only a small percentage of people will encounter a truly bad doctor. Most will have good doctors, and simply need to stay informed and aware. Be sensitive to your doctor’s moods. Do they seem stressed or off their game? It might be the time to ask follow-up questions to ensure they have thought everything through. Some questions you could ask:
- How confident are you in your diagnosis?
- Were there any symptoms or test results that fail to fit within the diagnosis?
- What else could be causing my symptoms?
- Are there any further tests that could improve your confidence in the diagnosis?
- Could you facilitate a second-opinion and provide me with my medical records?
- Are there any resources I can use to learn more about my condition?
- Can I contact you if my symptoms change or if I have concerns?
Although there are many things you can do to reduce your overall risk of medical injury, there is only so much that can be done. An injury can still occur. A mistake can still happen. Should one happen to you or someone you love, Corsiglia, McMahon & Allard, LLP can help. Schedule a free consultation with our San Jose medical malpractice lawyers to learn more. Call (408) 289-1417 today.Sources