20 Tips to Help Prevent Medical Errors

curtain transparencyNurses 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



Patient Story

arlene townsend staffing award

Unsafe staffing costs a Florida facility $1 billion

From Trial Magazine, March 2014 issue: Trial Magazine, 3/11/14 VERDICTS & SETTLEMENTS Arlene Townsend, 63 suffered a stroke and required 24-hour care. She was admitted to Auburndale Oaks Healthcare Center, a nursing home owned by Trans Healthcare, Inc. In the three years leading up to her death, Townsend suffered numerous fall resulting in broken bones and lacerations, infections, significant weight loss, chronic constipation, skin breakdowns, dehydration, and other problems. She is survived by her adult son. Townsend’s estate sued Trans Healthcare, alleging that it had understaffed the nursing home to increase profits and failed to provide adequate care, including protecting Townsend from falls, ensuring a safe environment, and documenting changes to her condition. The court entered a judgment of liability against the defendant, and the…
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