Medical errors are all too common, and all too often, medical errors become deadly. One study in 2013 put medical errors as the 3rd leading cause of death in America, right behind heart disease and cancer. Hopefully the numbers aren’t actually that high, but they are higher than they should be. To reduce the number of medical errors (and especially fatal errors) patients and medical providers need to work together to keep health care safer.
What Patients Can Do
There are a few steps that patients can take to prevent problems with health care.
- Always be honest with your doctors, even if it is embarrassing. Tell them about any medications you are taking and any prior health issues you’ve had.
- Ask questions and be informed. You should be able to respect and trust your health care providers, but it is also important to understand things for yourself. If your doctor prescribes something, find out what it does and how it works. When you pick it up at the pharmacy, don’t be afraid to double check the medicine given and make sure it is correct.
- Always follow the instructions given by your doctor and listed on medications.
- Seek a second or third opinion for serious issues, especially if you are uncomfortable with your experience or if your doctor doesn’t communicate well with you.
What Medical Providers Can Do
Medical providers have extensive training to help them do the best job possible. The following steps can help you keep your patients safer:
- Keep detailed records and check them whenever starting something new.
- Avoid overworking yourself or your team. People are much more likely to make errors if they are tired, unfocused, or hungry. Taking care of yourself is one of the first steps you need to take before you take care of your patients.
- Keep your training up to date. Medical technology is constantly evolving and advancing. It is important to understand new tools and techniques so that you can provide your patients with the best care possible. Fortunately, Med Ed Labs offers training facilities, classes, and the tools you need to prepare yourself and your team for new challenges. Contact Med Ed Labs to learn more.