Rushed Doctor Visits Increase Your Risks for Medical Mistakes
When visiting your doctor’s office, you hope to get answers to your health issues and possible treatment options to prevent pain and discomfort. Unfortunately, too often these appointments involve long wait times, only to be rushed through the actual visit itself with only a few minutes to discuss your concerns. This can lead to medical mistakes and errors such as missed or delayed diagnosis, which are a common cause of medical malpractice claims. The following offers tips on how you can make the most of your appointment.
Seven Tips to Protect Yourself During Doctor Visits
According to a report in Physician’s Weekly, patients are increasingly losing trust in their medical providers. With doctors, among the chief issues are concerns about rushed office visits and the chance for medical errors and misdiagnosis. As situations involving medical malpractice have risen over the past decade to the point where medical mistakes are among the leading causes of death, it is important for patients to take the initiative in acting as their own advocate to ensure they get the care they need.
Harvard Medical School advises that, with the average doctor visit today lasting roughly 10 to 20 minutes, it is important to make the most of the time you have with a physician. They recommend the following tips:
- Prepare in advance. Be organized and make a list of concerns or symptoms you want to discuss with your doctor.
- Prioritize your time. On your list, start with the most important issue first. This will ensure these are given adequate time, while more minor concerns can be answered by staff members.
- Make sure the doctor has all your medical records. Fill out your medical chart completely and get medical records from other doctors transferred.
- Give a complete family history. Be sure and include information about diseases and conditions suffered by parents or other family members, as these can provide valuable clues to current symptoms and aid in early diagnosis.
- Have test results forwarded. If you have had diagnostic testing, making sure the testing facility forwards the results to your doctor. Keep a list of all tests or procedures you have had done to better track results.
- Be brief, but concise. During your visit, you will not have much time so you want to be brief. Rather than discussing personal matters or topics that are not relevant, be concise and stay focused on the reason for the visit.
- Take a friend with you. It is always helpful to have someone acting as an advocate on your side during doctor visits. They can address anything you may have forgotten and can help confirm the doctor’s instructions.
Contact Us Today for Help
Medical mistakes and errors can have serious ramifications. In these situations, the Law Firm of William E. Raikes, III can help you hold negligent providers responsible. Reach out and contact our Fort Pierce medical malpractice attorney today and request a consultation to see how we can help you.