Thursday, May 5, 2011

Speak Up To Prevent Errors

I think I speak for all healthcare providers when I say, "help us help you".

We are not infallible. I've never met any healthcare professional who would intentionally try to harm one of their patients, it's devastating on both ends. But as much as we try to prevent them, mistakes can happen. You can help us prevent them.

Please become an active participant your own health care and learn to question everything that's being done to help you. When your doctor or other healthcare provider gives you a prescription, politely hand it back and ask that provider to read it to you.

This one simple step will allow that provider to double-check what was written, and will keep you from having decipher and understand his or her form of ancient Sanskrit handwriting.

This will also help prevent errors or delay at the pharmacy, as you can quickly tell the pharmacist what the doctor prescribed in case the pharmacist can't read it either.

This same simple step should also be applied when picking up your prescription at the pharmacy. If the pharmacist hasn't already done so, politely hand the bottle back to the pharmacist, and ask him/her to "Show and Tell". They know what that means.

The pharmacist should open the bottle, show you the medication, and read the whole prescription label to you. Doing so will allow the pharmacist another chance to catch any errors. It should also match what the doctor told you. If not - Speak Up!

1 comment:

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