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What should you look for in a hospital?

For patients, there's nothing worse than finding out that they've been hurt or lost a loved one due to the mistakes of a doctor, nurse or pharmacist. Besides having to have an operation or treatment to begin with, they may have to have additional medical care now to repair the damage that has been done. They may have missed work or need to recover expenses, which is why a medical malpractice case could be the right answer in a number of situations where errors were made during a treatment plan.

Patients can take steps to stay safe. For instance, look for hospitals that offer guarantees for their services. Some may offer a warranty on services like coronary-artery bypass grafts or others. If something goes wrong within the warranty's time period, the hospital, doctor or staff must provide medical care to correct it free of charge, so long as that complication was avoidable with better treatment. The fact that patients can get a warranty keeps some hospitals eager to complete operations and other treatments right the first time.

Another idea for how to stay safe is to check out the location and appearance of the hospital you'll be going to. For example, look into the hospital's security systems or the machinery they use during operations. Those with video cameras in the hospital record operations and procedures taken before and after, so you can make sure doctors and nurses took all the correct steps when treating you.

Also look for the medical provider with the most experience. Some practice for hours with medical programs that digitally present training procedures, while others have been working in the field for many years and have hundreds of operations under their belts.

Source: Reader's Digest, "Doctors Confess Their Fatal Mistakes," Joe Kita, accessed Oct. 12, 2016

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