As you know, medical errors are the third leading cause of death in the United States. More than 250,000 people die each year from hospital errors, hospital-acquired infections, misdiagnoses, side effects from pharmaceuticals and complications of surgery. Below are a few tips that I provide to my clients in helping minimize these errors occurring to them. I consult with my clients in taking a more proactive role in their Health Care. My Goal as a Private Patient Advocate is to help prevent these medical errors occurring to you!
Make sure that you give a complete medical history to your Physician (that is to include all family and past medical history). This will help your Physician in making a correct diagnosis
Bring a list of all your current medications and vitamins to your visit. All of your Physicians should have a copy of this list. This list should be updated every time your medication changes.
When given a diagnosis - ask questions and then ask more questions! If you don’t have a clear understanding of what is being told to you about your heath - ask someone to help you. Or call your Private Patient Advocate to assist you.
Always take someone with you to your appointment and have questions prepared prior to your visit. Your Private Patient Adovocate can assist you with this.
If you don’t agree with the diagnosis or you have unanswered concerns…get a 2nd opinion. If you are not getting better…get a 2nd opinion. I always encourage my clients to get a 2nd opinion. Listen to your gut!!! Some insurance providers will now pay for your 2nd opinion.
Testing is not always accurate. Always ask for a copy of your test results (good or bad). And if you would rather not have radiation exposure, request an MRI vs a CT scan
While in the hospital, make sure that the nurse always administers you the correct medication. Make sure that your name/DOB are matched with the correct drug being given. 7000 people die a year due to the wrong drug being administered to the wrong patient
160,000 patients die annually from medical side effects in the hospital. Always ask what medications you are being given and why!!
If you are having a procedure and IT IS NOT AN EMERGENCY, consider a 2nd opinion. Surgeries are not always the answer as there could be possible complications and/or infections.
And make sure that all medical staff wash their hands
If you have any questions about how a Private Patient Advocate can assist you with any medical situation that you might be experiencing, please contact me at firstname.lastname@example.org