Protect yourself when you receive medical care

Medical errors can harm patients considerably. If you are going to be hospitalized or need medical care for any reason, you should know the basic ways that you can keep yourself protected from these errors. These methods give you the opportunity to try to catch issues before they occur, and to address any if they do take place.

Medical errors are the third leading cause of death in this country. They account for more than 250,000 deaths each year. This is one of the primary reasons that anyone who is having medical care should ensure they are receiving appropriate care.

Be open about your medical history

One of the keys to finding out what's going on with you and how to treat it is knowing your medical history. You can't leave anything out because omitted information could mean that the medical professionals can't make the correct decisions. You should never feel embarrassed or ashamed of your medical history when you are letting your care team know what's going on.

Become a part of the health care team

Even if you don't have a medical degree or license, you are an important part of your care team. Don't be afraid to speak up for yourself to let the other members of the team know about your thoughts, cares and concerns. This can help to ensure you receive proper care.

Watch the people who come into your room

Infection is a primary concern for people who are in the hospital. Make sure that anyone who comes into your room washes their hands when they arrive and again before they leave. This simple step can reduce the spread of hospital-acquired infections.

Bring a trusted friend with you

It isn't always easy to catch all the information yourself. By bringing a trusted friend or family member with you when you are receiving medical care, you are reducing the risk that you will miss something. This person can also speak up on your behalf if things the care team says don't make sense.

Ask a lot of questions

Ask as many questions as you can when you are discussing your diagnosis or treatment options. You can also do this for tests that may be needed. The goal is to make sure that your condition is being diagnosed and treated properly without having to undergo anything that's unnecessary. You also need to ensure that you understand everything that's happening.

If you feel that you received care in Michigan that didn't meet the standard of care, you have legal rights. You might be able to take legal action through a medical malpractice claim. This can recover damages that you suffered due to negligent medical care.

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