The Most Common Medical Error Involves Medications

July 25, 2019

A new report out this week is focusing on preventable medical harm and although the medical community has worked to reduce medical errors, one in 20 patients is impacted by preventable medical errors with about 12% of preventable patient harm results in “prolonged, permanent disability” or even death. The biggest reason for preventable harm revolve around medication and other treatments.  While the medical community has worked hard to reduce these errors, the report suggest that patients pay a big part in their own safety. The report concludes that health-care systems need to “train and empower patients to be active partners” in their own care. Under-trained and burned-out providers along with understaffed services are also key contributors to preventable patient harm, making training and funding for the workforce vital. But while more and well-qualified healthcare professionals are sought, you can do a lot to prevent preventable harm to yourself or a loved one by making sure you fully understand any procedure or medication your doctor is recommending and why. It’s very easy for physicians to speak in medical language that is not readily understandable by most people. So make sure to speak up and demand simple explanations about what is actually happening and what the plan is.  Brief the doctor on your allergies and health conditions, as well as on any medications you take. This includes daily multivitamins, dietary fibers and any over-the-counter medication as well as any allergies or allergic reactions, even if you don't believe it is important to the saturation. And most important, don't assume every provider has access to all of your health-care information. Instead, be prepared to communicate it to each individual doctor. It also doesn’t hurt to check on the medical history in your file if possible and scan for any errors. Keep close track of your medications and results. Patients should double check with their health professional/pharmacist that this type/dose of medication is, indeed, the correct one for your condition, especially if this is the first time that you receive this medication or if there is a substantial change in the dose.

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SOURCE: MarketWatch

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