What You Need to Know About Medical Safety
Key Points To Know About Medical Safety
Medical safety concerns are not just important for medical staff to worry about, they are important for the patients to be aware of. Knowing some key points about medical safety in different topics can help you make better decisions about your personal health and that of those around you. Millions of people every day are treated for medical conditions with everything from implanted devices to medications by all kinds of healthcare professionals, most of them will have positive experiences, but some can develop lifelong harm.
It is almost impossible to sue the manufacturer of medical devices if something goes wrong with those items. This means that many companies are not incentivized to focus on improving the safety and effectiveness of these devices. Holding manufacturers responsible for medical device safety in the United States has been a hot topic of late and legislators are introducing bills to make suing them easier. To avoid as many complications as possible, it is important to research the devices recommended to you as thoroughly as you can and go over any concerns with your surgeon.
Hospitals serve many functions from delivering babies to treating cancers to healing injuries. This means that there are a lot of different things going on at the same time and this can lead to staff mistakes, infections and injuries. To keep yourself safer when visiting the hospital you should stick to visitation hours, and have your visitors do the same, watch out for construction or maintenance signs and wear a face mask if you have a respiratory infection or are at high risk of getting one. Hospitals have many different types of safety procedures in place to make sure that the right medication is given to each patient, that unauthorized personnel are kept from patient rooms or labs, and that infections are spread between patients as little as possible.
Patient safety at clinics does not have to factor in overnight care like hospitals do, but they still have to worry about errors, accidents and infections. Your primary care physician probably sent out information on how to get treated during flu season if you suspect that you have influenza, especially if there are young children or elderly patients who visit there as these groups are the most heavily hit with complications from the flu. You can use many of the same safety precautions with clinics as you do hospitals and be sure to call ahead if you have a cough and fever to see if you need to avoid the main waiting areas or wear a mask.
One of the biggest areas of risk for medical safety is in medications. Whether you are staying in a hospital or filling a prescription, errors can happen with type of medicine, allergic reactions and dosage. Nurses will often verify your identity in hospital and hospice situations before giving you medication. This is a precaution against taking the wrong medication in. To stay safer, make sure that your medical personnel know about any allergies you have to common medications, what medicines and supplements you are currently taking and that they are looking at the right chart.
Home and Hospice Care
While hospitals are held accountable for the safety of their patience with grades, reviews and lawsuits, many home and hospice care agencies are not. You can do your own research and talk to past patients before securing this type of care to help minimize your risk. You should look at the ratio of staff to patients, any testimonials or reviews you can find and even at the number of lawsuits leveled against those offering you care.
Staying safe in medical situations is not something many people think about, but it can be a problem in many areas. Legislators are working to make it easier to get recompense if something goes wrong with medical devices, medications or facilities, and there are precautions you can take as well. With the right research and prep work, you can increase your safety and that of people around you.