Nurses know that patients need proper communication to recover fully when leaving the hospital. They need instructions on medications, length of rest, even dietary limitations. Nurses also know that teaching patients to take care of themselves takes time. That’s time many nurses don’t have as hospitals sometimes cut corners on staffing. That puts too many patients under one nurse’s care at one time.
Patients can help prevent medical errors and improve their own recovery by asking questions of their caregiver to limit medical errors. One in seven Medicare patients in hospitals experience a medical error. But medical errors can occur anywhere in the health care system: In hospitals, clinics, surgery centers, doctors’ offices, nursing homes, pharmacies, and patients’ homes. Errors can involve medicines, surgery, diagnosis, equipment, or lab reports. They can happen during even the most routine tasks, and even when a patient is leaving a facility.
Until all hospitals meet a minimum standard of care for all patients, use these tips tell what you can do to get safer care: http://www.ahrq.gov/patients-consumers/care-planning/errors/20tips/index.html