Although we look to doctors for all of our medical needs, they, too, are human and can make mistakes. Medical errors resulting in malpractice can happen in any healthcare setting, including surgery centers, pharmacies, doctor's offices, patients' homes, hospitals, and clinics.
Medical malpractice refers to an improper, illegal, or negligent professional activity or treatment resulting in personal injury. These types of claims can arise due to actual error, negligence, a misunderstanding, and, unfortunately, sometimes out of purposeful malicious intent. Errors can never be fully prevented, but there are a few preventative steps patients and medical professionals can take to help decrease the risk of medical malpractice taking place. Below is a list Upton & Hatfield, LLP has curated to help!
What Patients Can Do
- Write down a list of medications you are taking and bring it to every appointment. This includes dietary supplements, over-the-counter prescriptions, and any herbs or vitamins.
- Make sure you have a clear understanding of follow-up care outside of the hospital. Before being discharged, be sure you are aware of all follow-up elements such as when and how to schedule appointments, medications needed, knowing your limits on physical activity, etc.
- Choose a hospital familiar with your needs. When a choice is available, be sure to pick a hospital with extensive experience with other cases similar to your condition.
- Speak up. If you ever have a question or concern, speak up. It could prevent missed or misinformation.
What Medical Professionals Can Do
- Document everything – Always write down (with extreme detail) any related information to the patient's case. This could include relevant dates, times, medications, or events.
- Understand policies – As a medical professional, it's your job to fully understand your owed standard of care, along with the policies and regulations of the facility.
- Communication – It's essential you effectively communicate information with your patients at all times. This can help decrease the risk of any potential misunderstandings.
- Follow up – Even when the patient is discharged from your facility, following up with them and any other professionals involved in their treatment can help avoid medical malpractice lawsuits.
Contact a Lawyer
Filing a medical malpractice lawsuit can be challenging, especially when recovering from injuries. Here at Upton & Hatfield, LLP, we have the skill and experience you need on your side to get you the justice you deserve. Our team is knowledgeable and committed to seeing your case succeed. Let us help you.
Contact us today at (603) 716-9777 or visit us online to schedule your free consultation.