How many times have you been to see a doctor in the last five years? Chances are you have sought medical examination or treatment on multiple occasions. Each time, you logically expect that your doctor will be able to diagnose your condition or recommend a specialist who can if she or she is unable to do so.
In any case, you have a right to reasonably expect that any and all medical workers who care for you act according to accepted safety standards and quality protocol. There is a slight difference between safety and quality. The former refers to hazards and potential injury, the latter pertains to effective and efficient service. You deserve both. Not only that, but you might wind up in worse condition than you were to start if a medical worker’s negligence causes you illness or injury.
Something doesn’t seem right
What would you do if you think you remember your doctor saying he or she was prescribing a certain medication but the nurse puts another type of pill in your hand and tells you to take it? It’s always a good idea to speak up and ask questions rather than blindly follow a nurse’s instructions, especially if you believe he or she is making a mistake.
Report problem incidents right away
Don’t wait until you go home from the hospital to write a letter or make a phone call about substandard care or an error you think you might have witnessed while you were in the hospital. Most, if not all, Missouri hospitals have patient advocate departments. You may request a meeting with an advocate at any time, and the sooner, the better if you believe medical error has placed you at risk for illness or injury.
You are your own best advocate
You never have to feel badly about asking questions of your doctor, a nurse or any other medical worker if you feel like something is not right. In fact, if you question a medication, as mentioned earlier, you might wind up saving your own life if the one the nurse was planning to give you was not correct. You only get one life, and you have a right to seek answers if you suspect a medical error or are experiencing substandard care.
Building a strong support network is key to resolving safety and quality care issues regarding a hospital stay in Missouri. Many patients rely on patient advocacy programs, spouses and licensed personal injury attorneys to act on their behalves to seek justice when a medical negligence incident has occurred.