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Patient precautions may lower the risk of doctor errors

Mistakes are made in any profession, but when a person in Washington suffers a doctor error, the results can be devastating. It is not that far-fetched for people to think they may fall victim to medical malpractice. Forbes magazine reports that medical negligence is in the top three causes of death for Americans. 

People often do not get to choose who their medical providers are, but there are ways to improve their chances of quality care. It is easy to get to the doctor and forget to mention a symptom, for example, but noting the signs of a problem as they arise can ensure that the provider gets all the relevant information. Before the visit, the patient also may want to do some research and have that on hand, along with a list of questions. When doctors are rushed, they may be less inclined to sit and conduct a thorough interview and exam, but patients have the right to quality care, and should feel confident insisting on answers. It may also help to have a friend or family member come to the appointment who can offer support and help remember questions and answers that are discussed.

According to the Agency for Healthcare Research and Quality, experts also advise that when tests, treatments and medications are recommended by a provider, these should not be taken at face value. Patients should ask what they are for, how they will help and if there are any potential adverse effects associated with them. 

Many people are seen by specialists, surgeons and other providers in addition to their primary care doctor. In these cases, it is essential to request that a provider verifies communication and coordination between physicians, facilities and other sources of care.