Did you know that there are simple ways to take control of your health care and avoid medication mistakes? Most medical errors result from inadequate communication. These issues don’t stem from wrong doctors or nurses; they stem from an overburdened health care system.
When you combine that with many patients having complex medication regimens, it’s no surprise that many people fall victim to medication mistakes. The good news is that by recognizing the common pitfalls and taking actionable steps, you can take control of your healthcare journey, better understand your path, and potentially see the results you've been looking for.
1. Improve Doctor-Patient Communication
Doctors and patients should communicate in mutually beneficial ways. Unfortunately, patients and physicians are frequently unaware of the other party's expectations. When communication breaks down, errors are more likely to happen.
Understand your role. Effective doctor-patient communication often starts with patients. It would help if you prepared questions before your appointment and not be afraid to ask them.
Understand your doctor’s role. Doctors have a lot of patients, and they have a lot of information that they need to process. As a result, your doctor might seem like they are rushing in and out of your appointment. That’s because they want to get you in and out as fast as possible and prepare for other patients scheduled.
If time is limited, consider using a doctor-patient communication app to stay in touch with your healthcare provider and reach out whenever a concern arises. It is a good idea if your doctor tends to have a busy schedule.
2. Understand Your Medications
Everyone takes medication, but many people don’t understand how to take control of it. It’s important to know that when a medication gets prescribed to you, it’s not meant for use “as needed.” It’s supposed to be used “on a schedule” to ensure you get the proper dosage daily.
We all know that medication is an essential component of comprehensive health care. Yet sometimes, it's easy for patients to become confused about the details of their prescriptions. This confusion can lead to medication errors, such as taking the wrong medication, taking too much of a prescription, or taking medicine at the wrong time.
The outcomes of this are:
· Poor health
· Increased healthcare costs
· Worst case scenario, even hospitalization
So, learn about your medication schedule, ask questions as soon as they arise, and share the facts about your medications with your providers.
3. Keep Track of Your Records
Keeping track of your health records is essential, but it’s a commonly neglected task. If you have insurance, you know that your health care provider sends a summary of care to your insurance company.
Many healthcare providers also send a copy to every doctor with contact information who has seen you. This sharing of information is excellent for improving care but has a downside. The downside is that if your records are inaccurate, you could get misdiagnosed or prescribed the wrong medications.
Keeping track of your health records can be done in three simple steps.
· When you see a new doctor, ensure you get a copy of your medical records and that the doctor receives a copy of your documents.
· Create a folder for your medical records and keep them in one place.
· Review your records once a year, and go through them with your doctor to ensure they are accurate.
Improve Your Lifestyle and Avoid the Common Health Pitfalls
You might think taking care of your health and dealing with doctors is challenging. However, the truth is that there are many simple ways to control your health care and avoid medication mistakes. Follow these tips, and see how your healthcare experience improves.
Published by Pankaj Sharma