Protecting Yourself Before a Medical Procedure
Protect Yourself Against Medical Malpractice Before A Medical Procedure
Are you scheduled for surgery or another routine medical procedure? If so, you aren’t alone. Hundreds, if not thousands of medical procedures take place daily in Northeast Ohio. In most cases, the procedures go according to plan. You are going home with a repaired knee, a new hip, or without cataracts. However, for every ten procedures that go well, there’s at least one that doesn’t. These patients are injured, at no fault of their own, and sadly, some even lose their lives.
Did you know you can protect yourself before these medical procedures take place? Here is some information to keep from becoming an injury victim, or one of the patients with the worst possible outcome.
Research Doctors And Medical Providers
Doing research on doctors and medical providers before undergoing a medical procedure can significantly reduce the chances of medical error and medical malpractice. Researching a healthcare provider’s background and credentials can provide valuable insights into their expertise and history of medical negligence. Here are a few ways in which conducting background research can help:
Checking a healthcare provider’s credentials, education, and board certifications can help ensure they have the necessary qualifications to perform the procedure. The Federation of State Medical Board’s Physician Data Center provides basic information about a healthcare provider’s education and board certifications.
Check for malpractice history
Researching a healthcare provider’s malpractice history can provide valuable information about their past performance. This can include information on past medical malpractice lawsuits, medical errors, complaints, and disciplinary actions. You should be well informed about who is performing your procedure.
Ensure proper medical protocols
Checking to see if the healthcare provider follows proper medical protocols and guidelines can reduce the risk of malpractice. Health care providers know exactly what to do, we have to make sure they do so!
Prior to your scheduled medical procedure, review your complete medical history with the physician or surgeon who will perform the procedure. Provide them with a detailed list of your current medications. Be sure to include the dosage, how many times a day you take the medication, and why you are on them. You will also need to provide all of the other medical procedures you have undergone. Disclosing your medical conditions is another necessity. If your doctor doesn’t want to review or fails to review, then that is a red flag. You should request another physician and reschedule the procedure, if possible.
In addition to providing your medical history, pre-testing may include blood tests, imaging, and routine items, such as blood pressure, heart rate, and oxygen saturation. You must complete all of these pre-procedural examinations to receive the best possible outcome. Some of the test results may expose issues that should prevent the surgery from taking place. Surgery is normally beneficial, and healthcare professionals to there best, but you must always to be vigilant to avoid serious injury to the patient.
Ask Questions To Understand The Procedure
When your medical history and routine testing have been completed, it’s time for you to ask as many questions as possible about your procedure. Why? Because you need to understand the surgical procedure and what it entails. The more you know, the better off you will be. An informed patient is a safe patient and can even help your doctor avoid a medical malpractice claim.
Pay close attention to the manner in which your surgeon or physician answers your questions. If they are open and forthcoming, then they are clearly in your corner, however if they seem bothered or evasive, then you’ve run into another red flag. The best physicians are willing to answer questions and explain the procedure in detail. They care about you, their patient. Doctors who are seemingly not interested in your questions may not be as invested in the procedure as you are. This is a bad thing!
It is important to protect your own health! Do not let the doctor ignore any of your questions!
Understand The Risks
Understanding the risks associated with a medical procedure can help patients make informed decisions and reduce the chances of medical malpractice. Here are a few ways in which understanding the risks can help:
Choose the right surgeon
Choose a surgeon who performs the procedure regularly and in a facility that is familiar with both the surgeon and the type of surgery. This can help reduce the risk of complications during the procedure.
Obtain Informed Consent
Informed consent is the process in which a health care provider educates a patient about the risks, benefits, and alternatives of a given procedure or intervention. The patient must be competent to make a voluntary decision about whether to undergo the procedure or intervention. Informed consent is both an ethical and legal obligation of medical practitioners in the US and originates from the patient’s right to direct what happens to their body.
Make informed decisions
Understanding the risks associated with a medical procedure can help patients make informed decisions. Patients can weigh the risks and benefits of the procedure and decide if the potential benefits outweigh the risks. This can help reduce the chances of medical malpractice and ensure that the patient receives the best possible care.
Demonstrate medical decision-making capacity
Patients must demonstrate medical decision-making capacity. This includes understanding the benefits and risks of a proposed treatment or procedure. Patients must also understand the alternatives to the proposed treatment or procedure. Demonstrating medical decision-making capacity ensures that patients have the capacity to make informed decisions about their healthcare. Reducing the chances of medical negligence.
Ensure Proper Communication
Good communication between patients and healthcare providers assures that patients understand their healthcare options. You should be participant in your medical care. Effective communication reduces the chances of medical malpractice.
Be Vigilant During Hospital Stays (ask questions)
Ensure accurate processing of information
Vigilant awareness can help clinicians process information accurately. Patients who are aware of everything going on can help the clinicians. Providing accurate and timely information about your medical history, symptoms, and concerns.
Be sure of proper medical protocols
Knowing proper medical protocols are being followed helps with peace of mind, and helps with the quality of the procedure. For example, patients can ask their surgeon how they ensure a sterile environment during surgery to reduce the risk of infection. Patients can also ask their doctor about the risks and benefits of the procedure.
Understanding Medical Malpractice
Medical malpractice is a situation where a healthcare professional, hospital, or provider causes harm to a patient due to negligence, omission, or substandard treatment. This can happen when a healthcare provider fails to provide the standard of care that is expected of them. If you had a procedure that resulted in injury or harm, call me today. We will discuss how the malpractice occurred, and legal steps moving forward.
Examples of medical malpractice include misdiagnosis or delayed diagnosis, surgical errors, and medication errors. Included are birth injuries, failure to monitor a patient’s condition, and improper treatment or follow-up care. The negligence may occur during any stage of medical treatment, from the initial consultation to follow-up care. Keep track of all of your medical records throughout the process.
To prove medical malpractice, it must be shown that the healthcare provider breached the standard of care, and that the breach caused the injury. The standard of care is the level of care that a reasonably skilled and competent healthcare professional would provide under similar circumstances.
Medical Professionals and Their Levels of Commitment
The medical professionals treating your needs must be very committed to their work. How can you determine if they care about you as a patient? The answer lies in how they act when you’re speaking to them. Does your doctor pay attention to what you’re saying? Does he/she answer your questions, respond honestly, or does he/she seem as though you and your needs aren’t important? If they brush off your questions and act as though your questions about the procedure don’t matter, then you need to question their abilities and their commitment. This yet another red flag.
Potential for Infection
Your medical professional may be qualified and committed, but something may still go wrong. There have been news stories about fungal infections appearing on hospital equipment. The potential for a dangerous infection after a medical procedure is very high, and some of these fungi and bacteria are resistant to medications, leaving you at risk. You need to be very careful to ensure every hospital worker you come into contact with, before and after your procedure, follows the correct safety protocols. After all, it’s your health that is at risk.
Were You Injured By A Botched Medical Procedure?
If you were injured during a medical procedure, then you may have a medical malpractice claim. You should never have to suffer just because the doctor didn’t know what he/she was doing, operated on the wrong side, or didn’t pay attention to your overall needs. Anything can go wrong while you’re on the operating table, and if you’re hurt and suffering needlessly as a result, then you need to contact me and I’ll Make Them Pay!®