People are not stupid
A new survey reveals the publicâ€™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 doctorâ€™s prescription (70%); bringing a list of all their medications to a doctorâ€™s appointment (54%); and bringing a friend or relative to a doctorâ€™s appointment to help ask questions (45%).
These are all excellent ideas and Iâ€™m heartened that so many people are taking action. The harder â€“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 didnâ€™t ask, but Iâ€™ll bet a lot of people are figuring that out, too.
Read the full Kaiser Family Foundation/AHRQ survey here.September 28, 2006