People are not stupid

People are not stupid

A new survey reveals the public’s level of awareness of medical errors and steps patients are taking to prevent errors or mitigate the damage caused:

Substantial numbers of Americans report taking certain actions aimed at improving the coordination of care and reducing the likelihood of a medical error. These include: checking the medication given by their pharmacist against the doctor’s prescription (70%); bringing a list of all their medications to a doctor’s appointment (54%); and bringing a friend or relative to a doctor’s appointment to help ask questions (45%).

These are all excellent ideas and I’m heartened that so many people are taking action. The harder –but even more critical– thing to do is to have an assertive, knowledgeable person who is committed to your health maintaining a vigil at your bedside when you are in the hospital. The survey takers didn’t ask, but I’ll bet a lot of people are figuring that out, too.

Read the full Kaiser Family Foundation/AHRQ survey here.

September 28, 2006

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