Posts Tagged ‘Doctors’

What You Can Do To Prevent Medical Errors, Part 1

Steps to safer Health Care.

Compiled and Edited by Sean Jewett

Editors Note: So often the brain injury survivor and/or caregiver finds themselves having to be their own advocate or their loved ones. This is an overwhelming task, and these tips can help you know and recognize how to better fill this challenging and necessary role.

Ask Questions

1. Ask questions and expect answers in a manner that you understand.

2. Choose a doctor with whom you feel comfortable talking to about your health and treatment.

3. Take a relative or friend with you to help you feel more comfortable asking questions, understanding treatments, retaining what was discussed or as an advocate for you.

4. Write down questions to ask prior to your appointment, write down the responses and take notes about treatment directions, treatment options and any resources provided during the visit.

5. Ask for pamphlets regarding directions, options and resources.

6. Make sure you understand the treatment plan, if you do not understand the plan because of too much medical jargon, simply request that it the terminology be “toned down” for your benefit.

7. Review and make sure you understand all information provided you by a health care professional, especially anything regarding treatment, drug interactions, adverse effects, and side effects.


1. Keep a list of all medications you take handy in case of emergency and for quick check in for appointments. A small card (laminated or unlaminated) unusually works.

2. Make sure that your doctors and your pharmacist know about your medications; including OTC medications, herbal supplements, vitamins and dietary supplements.

3. Inform your doctor about illicit substances. Remember your doctor is protected by Patient – Client Confidentiality.

4. Make sure your doctor and pharmacist know about any allergies, especially medicinal allergies.

5. Make sure you can read any prescription that the doctor gives you, ensure that the prescription is legible, the medication and amount are correctly listed. You can also request your doctor call in the prescription or order it over the computer.

6. Ask the Pharmacist for written information about all your medication regarding side effects, adverse effects, this includes drug interactions, what medications to avoid and possibly what foods to avoid.

7. Before taking any medication, read the label, including warnings. Make sure that it is the medication your doctor ordered and that you know how to use it.

8. Try to use the same pharmacy for all prescriptions. This can prevent mix ups at the pharmacy.

9. Any change in the size, shape or colour of the pill requires that the Pharmacist notify you at the time he fills the order.

10. If you experience any adverse side effects you believe are caused by your medication, contact your doctor immediately and inform your Pharmacist when next you place an order for a medication.

Note: In the case of severe adverse effects, especially allergic reactions resulting in anaphylactic shock (paralysis of the airway) have someone call 911 or emergency services immediately.

The original publication is distributed, free of charge, at the Patient Resource Center on the first floor of the Anschutz Outpatient Pavilion at the Fitzsimon Campus (University of Colorado Hospital Health Sciences Center)

Recommended sites: (National Guidelines Clearinghouse) (Denison Memorial Library) Go to the Consumer Health Link for both general and specialty health web resources.

Any changes and modifications to the original pamphlet were not done so extraneuosly or maliciously and they were all performed by Sean Jewett

Deacon Patrick’s Round the World Progress

Deacon Patrick's Round the World Progress