There are numerous factors that lead a Cleveland resident to choose a specific hospital or doctor to perform a medical procedure, but if there is very little information about a doctor’s success rates or how many people get sick following the procedure, safety isn’t one of them. Without adequate knowledge, it is impossible for patients to make informed choices about their health care and the people who will help them. And just because a doctor is personable does not mean that he or she is competent.
In order to improve patient safety, one physician recommends some major changes to the health care system. One of those changes is to use cameras in the operating room. What will really make surgeons comply with established medical procedures is videotaping. A physician showed that the surgeons who worked under him were more cautious and did not rush procedures when they knew that they were being taped and that the tapes were being watched. In addition, patients were extremely keen to have recordings of their procedures, indicating that they want to know more about their medical care.
Another change that could make a large difference in reducing surgical errors and medical mistakes is to give patients access to their notes. This could mean doctors reading their notes aloud to patients, double checking what they wrote or allowing patients additional time to throw in information they had previously forgotten. Other hospitals have started to create online doctors’ notes, giving patients the ability to access and potentially supplement the notes their doctors take during consultations.
While the health care field can do a lot to change for the better, including reducing the number of surgical mistakes that happen each year, it is largely within a doctor’s control to prevent medical errors. Unfortunately, some doctors don’t take the time, care and caution they should, putting patients’ lives at risk. When they do, patients can work with medical malpractice attorneys to hold the physicians liable for their pain and suffering.