Patient Safety Awareness Week celebrates and acknowledges the ways that healthcare providers are improving patient care. Organizations like the Center for Patient Safety have spearheaded campaigns like this to help healthcare providers reduce preventable harm by raising awareness of the connection between patient and provider safety and quality care. When patient safety is at the center of a healthcare organization, the chance of medical malpractice decreases.
Communicate Your Symptoms
As a patient, the most important thing for you to do is effectively communicate with your medical professionals. Let them know all your symptoms, your past experiences, allergies, and other pieces of information that could rule out different diagnoses. If a healthcare professional knows more about your injury or illness, they are less likely to misdiagnose you.
Communicate Your Reactions to Medications
Just as people show variances in symptoms for illness, one’s reaction to a medicine may be vastly different than another patient. It is necessary to alert medical professionals to any allergies, reactions, or side effects that you have experienced while taking medication. Many times, what causes medication error is the dosage levels. If possible, inform your medical team about the dosages you’ve had with different medications and the side effects you’ve noticed.
All patients have different medical histories that could change the course of treatment. If you don’t understand any part of your treatment plan, any testing, or medicine, speak up! You have the right to know if there are any alternative treatments or side effects to the intended treatments. Speaking with medical staff about your questions and concerns helps both you and the medical provider understand your needs.
Unfortunately, the healthcare system is not perfect, and your medical rights may be violated. If you believe that you or a loved one are a victim of medical malpractice, contact Rob Levine & Associates at 401-424-5213 for a free case evaluation.