Patients are not responsible for preventing medical mistakes, and they can hold healthcare providers responsible for medical errors when those errors result in injuries by filing an Ohio medical malpractice claim. At the same time, however, it is certainly better to avoid a serious injury when you visit a doctor’s office or check into the hospital for a routine surgery.
Medical mistakes can happen in almost any encounter with a healthcare provider, from visiting a family medicine doctor to get a prescription to seeking a diagnosis for what could be a serious condition to having surgery. Medical errors also occur in places you might not immediately think about, such as in a laboratory when samples are tested or at a pharmacy when a pharmacist fills your prescription.
While I want to make absolutely clear that patients are not responsible for preventing medical errors, there are some things that patients can do to help avoid an injury caused by a healthcare provider’s mistake. An article from the Agency for Healthcare Research and Quality (AHRQ) gives tips to patients to prevent medical errors, and I want to say more about those. The following are a series of tips to help avoid an injury caused by medical malpractice.
Take Your Prescription Medicine Safety Seriously
Medication errors are among the most common types of mistakes that result in patient injuries and medical malpractice claims. Whenever you see a doctor and get a prescription, or when you pick up a prescription at your neighborhood pharmacy, you should bring detailed information about your health history and you should ask questions. You should be certain that your doctor knows about every medication you are currently using—both prescription drugs and any over-the-counter medicines or supplements. If need be, bring your medicines with you to your doctor’s appointment. You should also remind every healthcare provider, including your prescribing doctor and your pharmacist, about any drug allergies you have.
While many prescriptions are created digitally these days, make sure you can read the prescription. Ask your doctor and your pharmacist any questions, including what the medicine is for, how it is used, whether there are possible side effects, whether it could have dangerous drug interactions, and whether this is the specific medicine and correct amount that you were prescribed.
Ask Questions in Hospitals
When you are in the hospital for any reason, it is important to ask questions. You should not feel uncomfortable asking nurses and any other healthcare workers if they have washed their hands before examining you, and you should always ask for clarification about discharge instructions. If you are having surgery, it is more important than ever to ask questions. Be sure to ask your surgeon and any other doctors to clarify what procedure you are having done and which area of your body will be the site for the surgery—you should all be on the same page.
Contact Me to Get Started on Your Medical Malpractice Case
Even when patients take all available precautions, errors and injuries still occur because of medical malpractice. If you suffered an injury because of your healthcare provider’s negligence, it is extremely important to learn more about filing a claim for financial compensation. As an experienced Cleveland medical malpractice attorney, I can speak with you today about your options. When it comes to holding a negligent doctor or surgeon accountable, I’ll Make Them Pay!® You can call my office today at 877.944.4373 to speak with me about initiating a medical malpractice lawsuit.