With medical error now being listed as the
third most common cause of death in the United States, we must be vigilant like never before and take responsibility
for our own treatment and care. Thankfully, you can protect yourself from
many possible instances of medical malpractice or inadequate treatment
just by keeping your eyes and ears open. Many times, the atmosphere or
appearance of your doctor’s office can clue you in to possible danger signs.
What are some of these warning signs? Consider the following:
Look at the office itself. Is the receptionist area cluttered and disorganized? What about the examination
room—is everything in its proper place? If you see signs of chaos
or you notice someone is having trouble locating a piece of paperwork,
beware. Many times errors occur simply because the office can’t
keep their records in order.
Is everything clean? Beyond the clutter, look at the cleanliness of the doctor’s office.
How do the bathrooms look? Are the floors dirty? If the staff isn’t
taking time to keep everything clean, they may also be neglecting some
of the sanitation requirements that help prevent you from getting infected.
How does the staff treat you? Does the receptionist seem aggravated or disinterested? Is the physician’s
assistant friendly and efficient, or does she appear fatigued? If workers
aren’t happy at work or seem distracted, they are more likely to
make mistakes. Likewise, a significant number of medical errors occur
due to sleep deprivation, as we
How does the staff treat each other? Do they seem to communicate well among themselves? Do you see signs of
tension or disagreement? Bad or inadequate office communication can often
lead to miscommunications regarding your diagnosis, treatment or prescriptions.
Remember, you are your own best defense against medical errors and inadequate
treatment, so if you see some of these warning signs, speak up—or
just go somewhere else. If you have been a victim of medical error, our
Washington D.C. malpractice attorneys can assist. Call our office for more information.