Medical Errors

Wednesday, December 29, 2010

Although exact estimates are difficult to find, medical errors occur more often than they should. Many errors go unreported and tracking their exact prevalence is difficult. In todays 60 Second Housecall, Dr. Edward Hill shares some life-saving tips on preventing medical errors.

Dr. Hill:

The most important thing you can do to prevent medical errors in the hospital is become an active participant in all the decisions about your care. This includes:

Giving your caregivers an accurate history of all the medications you are taking, including prescribed, over-the-counter and herbal drugs.

Ask your doctor and nurse about each medication before you take it. What is each medication for and what are common side effects?

Make sure the staff identifies you properly before taking any medication or diagnostic test.

If you are having surgery, you and the surgeon together should mark the surgical site before you are given any sedation.

At discharge, get a complete list of all your discharge medications, the cost of the medication, what each medication is for, common side effects and drug interactions, and

Be sure all follow-up physicians are informed about what happened during the hospital stay and what your discharge medications are.

For North Mississippi Medical Center, Im Dr. Edward Hill.