While technology plays a more important role in the health care system than ever, humans are still involved in nearly every aspect of care. As a result, health care mistakes occur all of the time in Kentucky. Some of the most costly errors happen due to communication barriers between doctors and nurses at hospitals and other types of clinics. Around 14 percent of Medicare recipients say they’ve experienced medical errors while in the hospital.

Patients can help prevent some medical errors by actively communicating with their doctors, nurses and other care providers. Patients should tell caregivers about all their medications and allergies and ask for clarification about any treatment information they’re given. In the lead up to surgery, patients can double check that all doctors and involved surgeons agree about the prescribed procedures. People should always speak up if they have any questions or concerns.

Doctors and nurses deal with hundreds if not thousands of patients, making it hard for them to keep track of specific details for each individual by memory. That’s why it’s crucial for patients to take a proactive role in their own care. Patients who ask questions, verify important information and do independent research about their conditions may reduce the chance of mistakes happening when getting treated.

Patients who experience pain and suffering as a result of medical malpractice may have the right to financial compensation from the parties responsible. A lawyer can evaluate a patient’s circumstances and recommend a course of action that best represents their interests. In some situations, a health care provider may settle, but filing a lawsuit and going to trial may be necessary. It’s the job of an attorney to protect their client’s rights through every step of the process.