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Tips for Preventing Medical Errors in Rehabilitation Centers and Nursing Homes

San Diego rehabilitation centers and nursing homes provide essential services to elderly and recovering patients. However, just like hospitals and other healthcare facilities, they are prone to medical errors.

Some of the most common mistakes include medication errors, such as administering the wrong prescription, dispensing the incorrect dosage, and failing to detect adverse side effects or drug interactions. Other potential risks at these facilities include falls, neglect and infection.

As part of its “Speak Up” campaign, the Joint Commission recently released a list of tips for preventing medical errors in nursing and rehabilitation centers. Some of the most useful are listed below:

  • Use a nursing and rehabilitation center that has been carefully evaluated. For instance, make sure it is “accredited” and ask if they take care of people with your condition.
  • Ask a trusted family member or friend to be your advocate (advisor or supporter).
  • Do not be afraid to ask about safety. For example, if the floor looks shiny, ask if it is wet or slippery before walking on it.
  • Make sure the caregiver checks your ID. They should ask your name before giving you medicine or a treatment. Do not be afraid to tell a caregiver if you think they have confused you with another patient or resident.
  • Ask about medicines that you take by mouth before you swallow them. Read the labels on the bags of intravenous (IV) fluids. If you are not well enough to do this, ask your advocate to read it.
  • Do not be afraid to ask for a second opinion. If you are unsure about the best treatment, talk with one or two more doctors. The more information you have, the better you will feel about your decisions.

If you or someone you love has suffered from a medical error, don’t hesitate to contact a San Diego medical malpractice attorney at the Law Offices of Robert Vaage for a free consultation.