Facing hospitalization? Use a Patient Checklist for a Safer Stay

Miley Legal Group

Anyone who faces hospitalization may have concerns not only about the procedure or treatment coming up, but also his or her safety. Virtually everyone has seen at least one newscast about a hospital mishap like leaving a surgical instrument inside a patient, operating on the wrong body part or administering toxic amounts of a medication.

You can help yourself feel more comfortable with the upcoming surgery by keeping a checklist. It’s also a good idea to bring along a family member or friend who can be an advocate and utilize the checklist as well.

Patient Checklist to Make Your Hospital Stay Safer

Know who is treating you.

Get to know everyone who will be responsible for your care. Patient mix-ups and performing the wrong procedures are examples of hospital malpractice. But they can be avoided when staff knows who you are and why you’re being treated.

Insist on verification.

Patients have the right to insist that everything is verified. Making sure the staff says your name, checks your wristband, and matches up your name on the chart and medication are just some of the ways this can be done.

If undergoing surgery, make sure the doctor discusses the procedure before going under anesthesia. Also ask for the spot being operated on to be marked clearly.

Ensure everyone uses proper hygiene.

This should apply not only to visitors, but also medical staff. Don’t assume the doctor or nurse washed his or her hands before coming into the room. If you didn’t witness it, request it be done. This can help prevent the spread of infection.

Ask questions.

There is no such thing as a silly question. If you are confused about something, even if it was explained several times, ask for clarification, especially when medical staff uses technical terms. Also, if something doesn’t seem right, say something.

Of course, the patient can’t be expected to oversee his or her own surgery. But there is good reason for the person who will undergo surgery to take as many variables into his or her own hands as possible, if only for peace of mind.

Healthcare practitioners who make mistakes despite these precautions can be brought to justice by a medical malpractice lawyer, like that at the Miley Legal Group: (304) 931-4088.