In our last post we discussed medical malpractice and some of the costs associated with tort reform and settling a case too early. Although medical malpractice litigation is an important way of holding healthcare providers accountable for mistakes, it is much better to avoid unnecessary complications and infections from the onset.
A recent article published by ProPublica reminds patients that they need to be their own best advocates to avoid many medical malpractice mistakes and unnecessary complications. For example, the number one risk at hospitals is infection, so it is completely appropriate for patients to ask healthcare providers to wash their hands before handling a patient.
It is also important to bring a second person with you to the hospital to serve as your advocate. That person can take notes to document the steps being taken in a patient’s care. That person can also write down the answers being provided by healthcare providers and make sure that the communication does not break down between the various healthcare providers that a patient speaks to.
Some insurers and employers are providing patient care checklists to patients to take to the hospital. Remember, it is important to be prepared before going to the hospital to avoid hospital infections and complications.