Checking into a reputable hospital may not be sufficient to safeguard yourself from medical errors or injuries from these errors. As Consumer Reports’ recent Hospital Ratings show, some of the most reputable hospitals in the country also have some of the highest rates of medical errors. So, what is a patient who is due for surgery to do?
Consumer Reports offers a list of steps that patients can take to reduce their risk of becoming victims of medical errors. According to the Consumer Reports Hospital Survival Guide, these tips can help you stay safe, from the time you check in to the time you are discharged.
One of the easiest ways for you to become the victim of a medical error is to check into a hospital all alone. Bring a friend or family member along with you, and designate him or her as your patient safety executive. This person will be in charge of monitoring your care, and liaising with the doctors, nurses and other personnel who are in charge of your care. This person should check in with you, and should also be present at the time of discharge. He or she should also check in on you every day, as well as on weekends and holidays. There are several factors that increase your risks of being a victim of a medical error, like failure to inform doctors of the kind of medications you are on. A companion can take of these minute but crucial details, while you focus on getting better.
Most hospital-acquired infections that occur in American hospitals occur because of poor hand hygiene. Insist that the health care personnel who approaching you wash their hands first. If you are able to, ask your doctors about how long your catheters are required. The longer a catheter stays in place, the higher the risks of an infection.
When you check into a hospital, bring a list of all the medications that you are on. Include not just prescription medications, but also over-the-counter drugs that you are on, as well as nutritional and herbal supplements.
Staying immobile when you’re able to move around is one of the easiest ways of suffering bedsores, infections and all kinds of other hazards. Ask a nurse or a friend to help you out of bed, and move around, in order to help reduce the risk of sores and blood clots. If walking around isn’t an option, ask hospital staff for pads that can help reduce the risk of bedsores.
Before you check into a hospital, determine the hospital safety levels by checking the Consumer Reports Hospital ratings, which includes more than 1,100 hospitals around the country. Consumer Reports uses essential indicators including unnecessary admission rates, infection rates, unnecessary radiation exposure, complication risks as well as mortality risks in order to rate hospitals.
The Indiana medical malpractice lawyers at Montross Miller Muller Mendelson Kennedy are dedicated to the representation of persons injured by medical negligence across Indiana.