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Reducing Medical Mistakes
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Questions Are the Answer
Medical errors cause tens of thousands of deaths each year. But you can help. Get more involved with your health care.
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Reducing Medical Mistakes

Patient safety is one of today's most pressing health care challenges. Improving health care quality and reducing medical mistakes are of the utmost concern to clinicians.

The most important thing you can do to improve your health care is to take an active role in your care. You can enhance the quality, safety, and effectiveness of your health care by asking questions about your care, your diagnosis, your treatment, and any medications prescribed to you.

The answers you get can help you make better decisions, receive a higher level of care, reduce medical mistakes, and feel better about your health care.

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Use this list of 10 basic questions.

  • What is the test for?
  • How many times have you done this?
  • When will I get the results?
  • Why do I need this surgery?
  • Are there any alternatives to surgery?
  • What are the possible complications?
  • Which hospital is best for my needs?
  • How do you spell the name of that drug?
  • Are there any side effects?
  • Will this medicine interact with medicines I'm already taking?

Helpful TipsHelpful Tips
  • Talk to your clinician
  • Write down your questions
  • Keep a list of all your medicines
  • Take notes
  • Bring a family member with you
  • Understand your options

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