A new book written by Joe and Teresa Graedon concludes that 500,000 people are killed in the United States every year from errors that occur in the prevention, diagnosis and treatment of medical conditions. Their book, “Top Screwups Doctors Make and How to Avoid Them”, attempts to educate the reader about the most common errors and mishaps that occur in hospitals, clinics, doctors’ offices, pharmacies, and even in our own homes.
The book, for example, explains the intricacies of a hospital and why these complex health care facilities have so many unnecessary complications. From minor incidents to death-causing errors, hospitals have a plethora of opportunities for unintended events to occur. Each patient and their friends and family members should be their own best patient advocate. The book suggests you should speak up if you suspect something is amiss.
At the doctor’s office, you should make sure your complaints and symptoms are brought to the doctor’s attention and addressed. Doctors have a limited amount of time to spend with each patient, so when you go in the doctor’s office, be prepared to discuss your issues in a prioritized fashion. Be calm when the doctor starts to ask you questions, and consider writing out important things you want to share with the doctor before you even arrive.
In the end, the book makes a real effort to educate consumers of medical services. There are many medical errors that can be prevented, and education to all of those involved will help reduce the errors.