You may not realise it, but going to the hospital is one of the riskiest things you can do. Although exact numbers on preventable medical error are difficult to come by, the Institute of Medicine estimated in 2000 that it causes between 44,000 and 98,000 deaths in the United States each year. They believe that over a million people have been injured as a result of medical mistakes. These figures are startling, and the general public is unaware of them.
Although hospitals must aim to reduce these figures, you, as a patient, may play a part in your personal safety. It has been proven that patients who are more involved in their health care and interact openly with their doctors have better outcomes. Here are some things you can do to guarantee that you and your loved ones receive the finest possible care:
1. Find out how good your hospital's care is. The US Department of Health and Human Services' Hospital Compare allows you to search for hospitals in your area and compare data such as readmission, complication, and death rates to national rates. If you have any worries about what you find, talk to your doctor about it.
2. Inquire about your doctor's background. According to statistics, the more procedures a doctor has conducted, the better the outcome. Make certain you're dealing with a knowledgeable individual. Just because something is common doesn't indicate your doctor has done it before, and vice versa. Check to see if your doctor is board-certified in his or her field.
3. Put it in a "brown bag." Bring all of your current prescriptions, as well as their bottles. When you're sick and drowsy, relying on recollection isn't a good idea. This way, your health-care providers will have easy access to all pertinent information.
4. Make sure you have someone with you. Even if you don't require assistance right now, you may do so in the future. They can also serve as an extra pair of eyes and ears. Assign them the task of taking notes on the physicians' and nurses' orders and keeping an eye out for any deviations from protocol. Your companion can help prevent blunders and miscommunications at your expense by being watchful even when you can't.
5. If you're feeling shaky, don't get out of bed. If you merely ask for assistance, you can considerably reduce the number of unnecessary injuries caused by falling. If you're not sure if you'll need assistance, ask for it anyhow.
6. Don't forget to bring hand sanitizer. Keep it by your bedside and hand it out to guests and workers. You might wish to clean off bacteria-prone surfaces like doorknobs and table tops on a frequent basis. Infection risk will be reduced as a result of this. You may already be more susceptible to infection due to the stress on your immune system, and other patients in the hospital are spreading terrible bacteria. Keep it tidy.
7. Use a pen to mark the correct operation location. Despite the fact that it is rare, surgeons do occasionally operate on the wrong bodily portion. They might ask you to mark the correct location, but even if they don't, go ahead and do it. Why take the chance of having the wrong portion of your body pierced?
8. Double-check the information on your medications. The most common sort of medical error is medication errors. Check that what your doctor says he's prescribing matches the written prescription, and then double-check that it matches what you're given. Double-check that the medication you're given is the exact type and dosage, whether you get it from the pharmacy or from a nurse.
9. Don't give up. Even if you think it's nothing, speak up if you're in pain or see something weird. If patients keep silent about their symptoms, How To Prevent Medication Errors health care providers may miss complications after surgery. If the pain persists, speak up once more. Unless you tell them, they won't know how you're feeling.
10.... But keep a nice demeanour. Doctors and nurses are on hand to assist you. They want you to get the greatest possible treatment. A polite word and a smile, rather than a complaint, have been shown to catch the attention of a busy nurse. Show your gratitude for everything they do!