How to be proactive when hospitalized

As Missouri residents may know, medical errors may result in a hospital stay becoming longer than anticipated. According to the Agency for Healthcare Research and Quality, hospital errors might be responsible for over 400,000 deaths of patients per year that are labeled as premature.

Being proactive when faced with a hospital stay is a good idea, and there are certain things an individual might do to avoid hospital negligence. There are times when an individual goes to the hospital and is too ill to monitor his or her care. One suggestion is to have someone come along as an advocate to help ensure proper care. In addition, if it’s not an emergency situation, checking out the hospital in advance may be good planning.

Another suggestion is for a patient to ask plenty of questions, particularly if he or she does not understand the medical condition, treatment or why certain medications are being given. If a patient does not understand those explanations, the physician may explain in layman’s terms.

It’s also important to bring all prescriptions or supplements along when being hospitalized. There’s alway the potential for an adverse reaction when prescriptions are combined with new medications. In addition, germs sometimes spread in a hospital and it is not out of place to request a nurse or attendant to wash his or her hands when entering the room to assist a patient or dispense medicine.

When health care providers fail to apply the standard for patient care, it may result in harm to the patient. If doctors and nurses failed in their duty to the patient, an attorney may file a malpractice suit to recover damages.