Safety at the Doctor's Office and Hospital
Would you believe us if we told you that we would celebrate if we never saw another case of medical malpractice in our office?
At Greenberg, Stone & Urbano, we do take professional pride in using our well-honed litigation skills to achieve justice on behalf of seriously injured victims of medical malpractice. As much as we are honored to provide protective advocacy services to people in dire need, our work with medical malpractice victims has taught us again and again the terrible impact medical negligence has on a family.
Although we do not want to put ourselves out of work, we do want members of our community to be more safe when they visit the doctor or hospital. With that goal in mind, our attorneys offer the following tips for increasing your safety at the doctor's office or in the hospital.Communicate, Communicate, Communicate
There is no substitute for clear communication with your doctor, nurse, surgeon, pharmacist and all other health care providers. Do not be afraid to ask questions. Consider bringing a second person to important doctor's appointments, who can take notes and ask follow up questions you may not consider.
- Ask for copies of your health care records.
- If you see a specialist, do not assume that the specialist has read all your records. Ask your primary care doctor for a list of the most important points of your medical history, which you can share with the specialist.
- If you do not hear about test results, call to follow up.
- When you see your doctor, tell the doctor everything that is bothering you — from head to toe. If you leave out a symptom that seems unrelated, you may deprive the doctor of a critical piece of information.
- If you have a complaint about a doctor or a hospital, and the doctor or hospital is being unresponsive, refer your complaint to the patient advocate. Every hospital and health care provider organization has an office of patient advocacy.
Our health care professionals are just that — professionals. This does not mean, however, that patients do not have the right to question their opinions or treatment plans.
- Get second opinions whenever your first doctor leaves questions unanswered or does not present a complete range of treatment options.
- Question the nurse or assistant every time you receive a dose of medication while in the hospital.
- Once you decide on a treating physician, follow his or her treatment plan. The most common cause of readmission to the hospital is failure to follow a treatment plan.
- Always ask a surgeon about his or her experience performing a procedure. Ask whether alternatives are available.
You do not have to be a victim of medical malpractice to seek advice from our personal injury lawyers. If you have concerns about your medical treatment and need an advocate, contact us to discuss your circumstances in a private, complimentary consultation.