Preventable medical damages are still too common, but experts say patients can take steps to protect themselves. reviewed journal BMJ. Moreover, about 12% of preventable damage to the patient leads to "prolonged, lasting damage" or even to death. finding the same results in the United States and Europe
The biggest share of this preventable harm, they found, is related to medicines and other treatments.
Panagiotes, senior lecturer at the University of Manchester, says providers and health Care systems should "educate and empower patients to be active partners" in their own care. Insufficiently trained and burnt suppliers, along with inadequate staff, are also key factors for preventable patient harm, which makes training and funding of the workforce vital, she added in an email. ̵
Previous studies have raised concerns about this: for example, one BMJ study in 2016 analyzed four mortality studies from 2000 to 2008 and used hospitals in 2013. Researchers estimate that the yearly 251 454 deaths in the United States – or 9.5% of all US annual deaths – as a result of a medical mistake making it the third leading cause of death in the country
Although much of the medicine may be in the health specialist and system level, there are still measures that each patient has can take to minimize the risk. "Patients should be equal partners with healthcare professionals to improve the safety and quality of their medical care," Panagiotti said.
Here's what she and other experts recommend: Your doctor recommends – and why. "It's easy for doctors to speak in a medical language that is not easily understood by most people," said John Cullen, President of the American Academy of Family Physicians, who practiced family medicine in Valdez, Alaska. "Providing explanations for common sense about what is actually going on and what the plan is, and really keeping their doctors at it is important." The drugs you take. "If you have someone with you, make sure that they know this information, and if not, you need to save it and view it so that all employees who care for you are aware and the information is not was lost during rotation, "Caitlin Donovan, a spokesman for the National Patient Advocacy Foundation, said in an email. This list should include all the vitamins or supplements you take, "added Erica Mobli, director of operations at Leapfrog Group, an observer of health care.
Do not assume that each provider has access to all of your health information. Instead, be prepared to report it to each individual doctor. "Between the specialists and their primary physician [and] even looking for surgery, the assumption is that all this information is present and may not be," Cullen says. Also, do not worry about checking the medical history in your file, if possible, he adds, as it may sometimes contain inaccurate information.
"We are in this age of cloud information, and it's just not so in medicine," Cullen said. – All information will improve. But we are in this awkward phase. "Get a friend or family member, especially if you have" poor health literacy or communication difficulties, "Panagiotti said. "Most people who are hospitalized do not operate at full capacity – so having a family member or friend with them in the hospital to keep things safe and talk if they feel that something is wrong … it's really great effective in preventing any potential error, "said Mobley.
If it is not possible to take a lawyer to the person, add Mobley, try turning it on by remote tools such as FaceTime.
AAPL, + 0.78%
. "[It’s] not exactly the same, but it can certainly help," she said.
Keep a close eye on your medications and results. Patients should "double check with their healthcare professional / pharmacist that this type / dose of medication is really right for their condition, especially if this is the first time they receive this medicine or if there is a significant dose change dose" says Panagioti. They must also monitor previous clinical results "and be able to identify any significant differences between time points," she said.
"If they were every day, getting two pink pills and then the next time the pills are yellow. , [they should] speak and say, "What is it? That's different from what I get, "said Mobli. Diversion may simply mean that your prescription has changed from a generic branding, but that also may mean you have received the wrong drug. Make sure your doctor is washing your hands. Handwashing is one of the most effective ways to reduce the risk of spreading infection, but studies show that not all health professionals practice proper hand hygiene. While it seems terrible or uncomfortable to call your doctor, Moby said it is important to talk. Suggest to say something like, "Can you wash your hands?" Or "I may have missed it, but can you make sure you washed your hands before you come to look at me?"
And if still "Washing hands is vital, and it's good for patients to ask if providers wash their hands," Cullen says. "This is perfectly appropriate."
Scientific research. "There is something to be said about what procedures they are doing – ideally, what are the risks and benefits," Cullen said. But it's important not to transfer Google
and arrived in the doctor's office with a pre-determined view of your condition, he said, and that you make sure you are getting information from reputable sources like Mayo Clinic, Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, Medscape or AAFP FamilyDoctor.org. You can also check sites that provide ratings for hospitals, "added Mobley.
Do not be afraid to talk. – They have to be their own lawyers, "said Mobli. "The probability of error really decreases significantly if they want and can talk if they have any questions or feel that something may be wrong." This advice can be particularly important for women as research shows that they are – inclined to undergo pain treatment, their symptoms are less likely to be taken seriously and more likely to be misdiagnosed. appointment as the doctor ends, "Donovan said. "Bring an advocate with you who can further justify and guarantee your experience. It's not fair that the patient's word is not enough, but there is often another person who can reinforce your words. "The person can be anyone you know and trust," she said, as long as they were hard for them to remain diplomatic.  Ask your vendor what they are doing to prevent errors. Moby suggested asking whether they have technology to prevent medical errors, and if not, are there any other preventative measures. Inappropriate answers to such a question may include "do not know" or "we take care of this; you do not have to worry about it, "said Mobli. If the doctor has rejected or humiliated your concern, she added, this is a red flag.