July 01, 2009
Research on hospital deaths from medical mistakes shows a significant number of those deaths are preventable.
Some of the factors that lead to medical errors are out of your control. But in some cases, you can reduce your risk by speaking up and taking an active role in your care.
Most hospital medical mistakes are related to one of seven areas:
Researchers say the complex and fragmented nature of today’s healthcare system may increase your risk. When you see a variety of doctors at different facilities, communication sometimes breaks down. In other cases, communication between the patient and caregiver is faulty.
You play a big role in preventing medical communication problems. Whether you’re picking up a prescription or having major surgery, ask questions and speak up.
Remember, you have to be your biggest advocate.