Medical malpractice has no place in any health care system, yet it still happens commonly. Fortunately, there are many things you can do as a patient to prevent medical malpractice and protect yourself and your loved ones. What kinds of things should medical providers do to prevent cases against them? What can they do to make you feel more at ease?
There are dozens of steps to follow. For example, you should seek information about the procedure ahead of time and talk to the provider about risks. The provider should provide an informed consent document to you after you learn about the treatment, so he or she knows you had your questions answered.
Beyond that, there are many things you can do to keep yourself safer. Here are three.
- Know your medications and allergies
To prevent injury due to allergic reactions or interactions, your doctor needs to know all your medications and allergies. If he or she gives you a medication you’re allergic to after being informed, then you can show neglect.
- Be repetitive
Although you might assume your doctor has the right charts and information about you, it’s a good idea to be persistent about going through your name, date of birth and other information each time you meet someone new or have a new interaction with a medical provider. This helps guarantee that the wrong data wasn’t picked up by mistake and that the provider knows which patient he or she is with.
- Report injuries and concerns
If you’re worried about an IV that has been used for multiple days without removal, say so. If you’re more sore than expected, mention it to your medical provider. Being proactive isn’t being annoying or a hypochondriac. Pointing out your concerns could draw attention to a problem early enough to correct it.
No one wants to suffer unnecessarily, and taking these steps can help prevent a mix-up. Patients need to advocate for their own safety, and these are just a few ways you can take your care into your own hands.