4 Mistakes Even the Best Doctors Makes
Healthcare has come a long way over the last 50 years, but even with advances in modern diagnostics and high-tech equipment, even the best doctors still make mistakes. But in most cases, these mistakes are almost entirely preventable. Let’s take a look at the top four mistakes that doctors make, and what you, the patient, can do about it.
Misdiagnosis is the most common medical malpractice that modern doctors make. Even the best doctors can fail to find the cause of a medical issue. In fact, research suggests that nearly 15% of all medical problems are misdiagnosed initially.
One study published in 2013 revealed the most common diagnostic mistakes:
- Urinary tract infections
- Acute renal failure
- Congestive heart failure
Surprisingly, misdiagnosis occurs more frequently in doctors’ offices than it does in hospitals. However, when diagnosis errors occur in hospitals, the consequences tend to be dire.
Nearly 160,000 hospital patients suffer permanent injury or die each year because of misdiagnosis or a late diagnosis.
How can you avoid becoming a victim of this mistake? Doctors recommend coming to your appointment prepared with a timeline and list of your symptoms. Doing so will save both you and your physician time, and will also help pinpoint the problem.
Experts also recommend that patients educate themselves on what to expect when prescribed medication or treatment. If your symptoms do not improve, see your doctor right away as you may have received improper medication or you may have been in the misdiagnosis.
2. Prescribing the Wrong Medication
Even the best doctors prescribe the wrong medication from time to time. That’s why it’s so important for patients to ensure that their doctors know every drug and supplement they’re taking. This can help prevent negative interactions and reveal any allergies that you might have.
When picking up a prescription, ask the pharmacist to ensure that the treatment is correct. Also, be sure to read the prescription to further ensure that the medication will not cause a negative interaction between your other medications.
3. Wrong Site Surgery
You may be surprised to learn that wrong site surgery, or surgery on the wrong body part, is relatively common. And it’s 100% preventable, according to the Agency for Healthcare Research and Quality.
Wrong site surgery happens so frequently that many healthcare insurers will no longer offer coverage for it.
Before you go in for a procedure, make sure that your doctor knows exactly which body part needs to be operated on. Some experts even suggest going as far as marking the body part that needs to be operated on with a marker before going in for your procedure.
4. Treating the Wrong Patient
It may be hard to believe, but hospital personnel often fail to correctly ID a patient, and if another patient has a similar name, the two may be confused.
For this reason, it’s so important to ensure that the staff checks your entire name, the barcode on your wrist, and your date of birth before procedure. This becomes even more important if you have a common name that could easily be confused with another patient.