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Can hospital mistakes be prevented before they occur?

As our Albuquerque readers may have experienced first-hand, any number of things can go wrong during a hospital stay. While many mistakes may not have serious consequences for patients, there are some incidents of hospital negligence that can have a big impact on the quality of life for people who are affected.

Is it possible to head off errors before they have an impact? In other words, is it possible for patients to prevent errors that could have a negative impact on their care? While not all mistakes can be caught -- the whole point of hospital care, of course, is to entrust one's care to professionals -- some observant patients might be able to improve the quality of their care.

One way is through making sure that their medications are correct. Plenty of hospital mistakes in New Mexico and all around the country have come about from incorrect medicine being doled out to patients. Even though they aren't experts by any means, patients might be able to cut back on errors -- and boost their own safety -- by insisting on certain protocols.

One idea is to mandate bedside scanning. By using this procedure, hospital personnel can electronically cross-check patient information with the medication being delivered -- ensuring that it's correct and makes sense for the patient.

Another thing patients can do is speak to their doctors about their medications. Doctors likely have any number of patients under their care at any given time; speaking personally with one's doctor can help to verify that the physician knows about any potential interactions with medication.

Of course, when things do go wrong, it is always possible to speak with an experienced Albuquerque hospital negligence attorney for assistance.

Source: Yahoo Health, "Protect Yourself: 8 Common Mistakes Made by Hospital Staffs," Cindy Kuzma, Oct. 7, 2013

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