Many of us start the New Year with a list of resolutions aimed at making positive changes, often with health and fitness at the top of list. While taking proactive steps such as losing weight, quitting smoking, or beginning a regular exercise regimen can all help to improve your overall health, many of us overlook one of the main areas of concern. Medical malpractice cases involving doctor mistakes and errors have become increasingly common and can have serious, potentially fatal consequences. The following is a list of five healthy New Year’s resolutions to help ensure you get the quality of care you need.
Ways You Can Help Prevent Medical Mistakes
According to Johns Hopkins Medicine, medical mistakes and errors are now the third leading cause of death in the United States. In 2016, they determined that roughly one out of every ten fatalities each year is the result of mistakes made by doctors, nurses, hospital staff, and other healthcare providers. Even further, researchers also found that these mistakes are often not disclosed to patients or their surviving family members.
Misdiagnosis is one of the most common types of mistakes, and can occur due to rushed office visits, incomplete medical exams, inadequate testing, and errors in reading diagnostic test results. As a patient, it is important to take the steps necessary to protect yourself. Make the following suggestions from Reader’s Digest Best Health Magazine part of your healthy New Year’s resolutions:
- Review your medical history. Make sure all the information is correct, and that a complete family history and prior medical conditions and treatments are recorded.
- Keep a schedule. Use a journal or online calendar to record upcoming medical appointments, even if it is just a routine checkup. Afterwards, jot down any instructions you received, tests ordered, or medications you are prescribed and the dosages.
- Make a list of symptoms. Before visiting your doctor, make a list of any symptoms or medication side effects and report them all to your doctor. Having it written down in front of you will make it easier to bring it up, and you can keep it for future reference.
- Ask questions. If there are instructions you do not understand or you have questions about a medication or treatment your doctor is prescribing, speak up. Do not let yourself be rushed through an appointment. If your provider routinely does this, consider choosing another doctor.
- Be vigilant in follow up care. Attend all follow-up appointments and let your doctor know if a medication or treatment is working. Persistence pays off when it comes to getting the correct diagnosis and treatment.
Experienced Negligence? Get Help Today
Even with these healthy New Year’s resolutions, mistakes can still happen. If you do suspect an error or mistake on the part of your doctor or medical provider, contact our South Carolina medical malpractice attorney and request a free consultation. At the Anastopoulo Law Firm, we can advise you on compensation you may be entitled to for injuries and damages you have suffered. We have locations in Charleston and throughout the surrounding areas to serve you, so call or contact us online today.