As a patient, you do not have to cede complete control over your diagnosis, treatment, and care to your doctor or any other health care professional. You have agency, and that means you have the right and the responsibility to look out for your own health and well being in interactions with health care providers. By taking an active role in your medical care, you can reduce your chance of having your condition misdiagnosed or receiving inadequate or inappropriate treatment. Below are three strategies to use to cut down your chance of suffering from medical malpractice.
Always have your Records Easily Accessible
Doctors and other health care providers are often rushed and overworked. Make their jobs easier for them by making your medical record easily accessible. One way to do this is to have an electronic medical record created. Another is to have a physical copy of your medical record on hand to bring to your appointments. You can refer to information contained within the record and use it to discuss your past conditions and their potential impact on your current condition.
Bring an Advocate to your Doctor Appointments
It can be difficult to remember everything your doctor says during your appointment. By bringing another person, such as a parent, a spouse, or a close friend, to your doctor appointment, you are bringing an extra set of ears and another individual who can recall the information shared during the visit. Your advocate can also ask questions on your behalf and bring up important talking points that you might forget.
It is also a good idea to bring a notepad and pen to your appointments to take notes about your conversation with the doctor. If you would prefer, you can do this with a writing app on your smart phone as well.
Ask Questions and Educate yourself About your Condition and Treatment
Before your appointment, write down a list of questions you have about your condition and your treatment. A good way to determine which questions to ask is to research your condition online. This way, you can bring up specific questions and concerns during your interaction with your doctor.
Work with an Experienced Chicago Medical Malpractice Lawyer
Even if you take all the right steps, you cannot completely eliminate your chance of suffering an injury or a worsened condition because of a health care provider’s negligence. If you do become a victim of medical malpractice, work with an experienced lawyer who can be your advocate and help you seek the compensation you deserve. To learn more, schedule your initial legal consultation with our team of Chicago medical malpractice lawyers at Baizer Kolar, P.C. today.