Being a proactive patient can help increase satisfaction with your medical provider and may even help avoid a medical malpractice case. Whether you are advocating for yourself or for a family member, there are several things that one should do in order to stay actively involved in medical care, especially when there is a serious diagnosis involved.
Comply with treatment orders
- Have lab tests and x-rays performed as directed. Be sure to follow any special directions needed to improve the accuracy of the test such as fasting.
- Attend follow up appointments as scheduled, even if you don’t think it is necessary.
- Follow any at-home orders such as exercising or monitoring your blood pressure or blood sugar.
Be actively involved in prescription regimens
- When given a prescription, ask what it is, what it is supposed to do, and what possible side effects to be cautious of. Ask if there are any non-drug treatments that offer the same benefit.
- Take prescriptions as directed and get refills on time.
- Keep a log of any side effects you experience
- If you experience side effects, contact your medical provider right away to discuss alternative medication or alternative treatment.
- Beware of accepting another prescription to treat the side- effect of the first drug.
Do your own research on all medications you take. Be sure that Internet sources are from a reputable medical institution such as a university.
- Make notes of questions you may have before each visit and write down answers.
- Ask for copies of lab and any other test results, visit summaries, and consultation reports.
- Keep ongoing logs of phone calls including dates, times, and names.
Trust your instincts
- If you have a bothersome feeling that something is not right, even though you have nothing factual to substantiate it, your concern is likely valid.
- Keep asking questions until you feel satisfied and your feeling of concern has abated.
- If your concern persists, get a second opinion from another medical provider.
Ask for help
A medical malpractice attorney specializes in helping people who have suffered due to negligent or incompetent medical care involving any medical personnel or facility. Seek the services of a compassionate medical malpractice attorney if you need advice on pursuing a medical malpractice case.
R. Klettke is a freelance writer. He writes about personal injury and medical malpractice law and other matters of jurisprudence.
Important Advisory: This article is not intended to provide legal advice upon which you or anyone else should rely in making any decisions regarding the instituting or prosecuting of a legal claim. Laws and rules relating to the bringing of a claim vary widely from state to state. You should always contact a personal injury attorney to obtain information as to the rules and the laws pertaining to any claim you might have.