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Hughes Advocacy shares a few tips on how you can prevent medical errors happening to you or a loved

As you know, medical errors are the third leading cause of death in the United States. More than 400,000 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

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