March 08, 2012 at 03:00 AM EST
Taking Your Health Into Your Own Hands: Steps You Can Take to Prevent Medical Errors
NEW YORK, NY, March 08, 2012 /24-7PressRelease/ -- Despite decades of advances in safety procedures and heightened awareness, medical mistakes still happen everyday. They occur in many New York hospitals, clinics and doctor's offices. Mistakes can happen during major surgery or routine checkups.

You might think that all you can do is hope for the best when receiving medical care. But your primary tool to receiving error-free medical care is direct, open and clear communication with all of your medical providers, every time. The following common sense tips can help you stay safe and protect your health.

Steps You Can Take Help Protect Your Heath

Tell your doctor about all the medications you're taking and any known allergies you have. Bring all medications to every visit and make sure every doctor you see has all your important health information.

Be informed about your prescribed medications. Learn about the medications as they are prescribed and as you fill them. Ask your doctor or the pharmacist:

- How the medicine should be taken
- How long you should take the medicine
- If there are side effects and what you should do if they occur (get information in writing)
- What food, drink or activities you should avoid to prevent harmful interactions with the medication

When you pick up medicine from a pharmacy, verify that you are getting the correct medicine that was prescribed for you. Ask about anything on the label you do not understand.

While this next tip may seem a bit basic, it is one of the most important tips to protecting yourself. If you are staying in a hospital, ask every health care worker who will be treating you or examining you if they have washed their hands. When being discharged, make sure your doctor has explained any at home treatment plan in detail.

For major surgeries, try to choose a hospital that has a great deal of experience with your condition. Also make sure you, your doctor and the surgeon all know exactly what procedure will be performed.

Many medical mistakes happen because health care systems have become very complex. Doctors and patients sometimes have problems communicating with each other. Bringing a friend or loved one to all of your appointments can help with this.

The most important thing is to stay actively involved with your health care team. Do not be afraid to speak up if you have questions about anything. Ask why you are getting a test or treatment if you are unsure. Finally, ask how and when you will get the results of every test performed.

Unfortunately, there is no way of completely preventing medical errors or doctor negligence. But, by following these steps you will know you have done everything you can to keep yourself as safe as possible.

Article provided by Trolman, Glaser & Lichtman, P.C.
New York Medical Malpractice Attorneys
Visit us at www.tglmedicalmalpractice.com

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