Friday, October 2, 2015

You Play a Role In Preventing Medical Errors

One would want to believe within our advanced healthcare system, from the hospitals, clinics, pharmacies, and to your homes, errors are a rarity and do not occur as often as they do. According to the website Hospital Safety Score, hospital errors are the third leading cause of deaths in the US. I am not sure about you, but to me just taking into account hospitals alone, this is an alarming statistic. This screams to me a need for the healthcare consumer to be more proactive in regards to theirs and their loved ones safety. The Agency for Healthcare Research & Quality has created a Patient Tip Fact Sheet to help arm you with steps you can take to help ensure your safety in the healthcare battlefield.

I have always been a proponent of the power of QUESTIONS. ASK...ASK...AND ASK SOME MORE. When it comes to your health, the only silly question are the ones never asked. I also strongly advocate having a healthcare agent. This can be a trusted family member, friend, or a hired patient care advocate. This individual needs to have a thorough knowledge of your medical history. He/she could provide valuable information if you were every unable to do so. Your agent should be updated whenever any of your information changes (new provider, new or discontinued medication, etc.). If possible they should as often as possible accompany you to important medical visits, medical procedures and/or hospitalizations. Because privacy laws (HIPAA) limit the information a healthcare provider can share, be sure to sign the necessary legal documents which will give your agent access.

Today, take some time to consider how your safety may be at risk and what actions can you take to correct it. Let's get some dialogue going to share with others...I'll start with this go to the pharmacy to pick up a medication...what should you do? One answer...verify the package given to you is really for you and the correct medication is inside. According to US New Health, one of the top pharmacy errors is the medication going to the wrong individual.

Remember it takes a village...until next time...stay aware...NAMASTE.


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