Did you know that:

Medical errors are one of the nation’s leading causes of death and injury. Tragically, more people die from medical errors each year than car accidents, breast cancer or AIDS.2

Tip 1
Be involved with your treatment. You have the right to be involved with every medical decision that involves your healthcare. Ask questions until you get answers. Research shows that patients who are involved with their care get better results.

Tip 2
Tell your doctor everything. Share your entire medical history including every medicine you have taken. If necessary, write it down and hand a copy to your doctor.

Tip 3
Research your hospital. If you must be admitted to a hospital, choose one that has experience in performing your procedure. Research shows that patients tend to have better results when they are treated in hospitals that have a great deal of experience with their condition.

Tip 4
Know who is performing your surgery. At teaching hospitals, many surgeries are performed by surgical residents. Likewise, in many hospitals physician’s assistants and nurse anesthetists perform functions traditionally performed only by physicians and anesthesiologists. Ensure that your surgery is performed by the surgeon whom you have selected.

The 2000 report of the Institute of Medicine. The Institute of Medicine is a division of the National Academy of Science. It is a non-profit organization dedicated to providing unbiased, evidence-based advice on matters pertaining to health and science. For more info go to www.iom.edu.