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Joe and Teresa Graedon’s book “Top Screwups Doctors Make and How to Avoid Them” is an acknowledgment that serious mistakes are made at every hospital in America on a daily basis. Its genesis started with their own nightmare involving Joe’s mother’s care in an NC hospital.
The Graedon’s book contains more than a dozen lists to help patients and families get the best care. It includes:
- Lists of common mistakes made in hospitals or by doctors and pharmacists.
- Lists of tips to prevent medical errors, dangerous drug interactions and diagnostic disasters.
- Suggestions to promote good communication and survive old age.
Here is some advice:
- Expect mistakes and have an advocate.
- Check every medicine. Make sure the dose is right.
- Be assertive
- Demand an explanation.
- Be vigilant during transitions, from one floor to another, or when shifts change.
- Alert the nurse or “rapid response
team,” if something seems wrong.
- Obtain detailed discharge instructions and contact information. Know what symptoms might signal a worsening situation or infection.
- Hospital doctors may never speak to your primary care physician. Take your records and don’t assume doctors already know what’s in them.
- Double-check everything. Don’t assume no news is good news or that test results are always correct.
- Take a friend or family member to doctor’s visits. Nearly every error made in the hospital can also be made in the outpatient setting.