If you or a loved one goes to a healthcare facility such as a hospital, clinic or nursing home, you should take proper steps to ensure maximum safety and comfort. Yes, the medical professionals are there to meet your medical needs, but they do make mistakes. Medical error is the third leading cause of death in the States, following heart disease and cancer. You can help medical professionals serve you best and keep you safe with these things in mind, reports GetHealthy StayHealthy.
“It is always important to take an active role in your health care and safety,”Get Healthy Stay Healthy reports.
- Look up hospital ratings before scheduling an appointment or procedure. You can do that here or here.
- Ask the doctor how you should prepare for your procedure or surgery. For example, you may need to refrain from eating for a certain time period beforehand, or you may need to stop taking medication.
- Tell the doctor or surgeon about any medical problems you have, even if you think they’re unrelated to the procedure you’re having.
- Reduce your risk of infection by using disinfectant wipes on commonly touched surfaces such as the chair armrests, rolling table surface, bed railings, the phone and the TV remote.
- Every time you get a new medicine, the nurse or doctor should check your hospital bracelets. Taking the wrong medication at the wrong time can be deadly.
- Wear nonslip footwear and ask for help if you need it. It’s not worth risking a fall.
- Ask nurses and doctors if they have washed their hands.
- Learn about the signs of infection. If you suspect infection, speak up.
- If something seems off, say something.
“When you’re diagnosed with a new condition or are staying in a hospital, it can be helpful to have a health advocate to help look out for your safety,” said Ilene Corina, President of the Pulse Center forPatient Safety Education & Advocacy.
Your health advocate may be a friend or familymember. However, you may also want to consider hiring an Aging Life CareSpecialist, a medical professional who is trained to advocate for you duringyour time at the hospital to make sure you are well cared-for and understandwhat to do to recover when you leave.