Medical mistakes are a common topic in the news—from accidental drug overdose to hospital acquired infection to surgical mistakes. These mistakes cost millions each year and, in the worst cases, cause major illness, disability, or death. The government and medical institutions are taking many steps to decrease the rates of medical errors, but you have an important role as well. Taking an active role in your healthcare can help prevent medical errors. The following is a list of recommendations to help you stay well:
Agency for Healthcare Research and Quality
National Patient Safety Foundation
Canadian Patient Safety Institute
20 tips to prevent medical errors: Patient fact sheet. Agency for Healthcare Research and Quality website. Available at: http://www.ahrq.gov/consumer/20tips.htm. Published September 2011. Accessed May 2, 2014.
Medical errors: tips to help prevent them. FamilyDoctor.org website. Available at: http://familydoctor.org/familydoctor/en/healthcare-management/self-care/medical-errors-tips-to-help-prevent-them.html. Updated November 2010. Accessed May 2, 2014.
Last reviewed May 2014 by Michael Woods, MD
Please be aware that this information is provided to supplement the care provided by your physician. It is neither intended nor implied to be a substitute for professional medical advice. CALL YOUR HEALTHCARE PROVIDER IMMEDIATELY IF YOU THINK YOU MAY HAVE A MEDICAL EMERGENCY. Always seek the advice of your physician or other qualified health provider prior to starting any new treatment or with any questions you may have regarding a medical condition.
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