Weekly Must Reads in Patient Safety and Health Care (October 23, 2015) – Accurate Patient Diagnosis Leads to Better Treatment

Better treatment starts with the right diagnosis; or, as Dr. N. Sapkota, a board certified internist put it on his website – “How does the doctor find out what is wrong with you? Well, basically you tell him!”

Accurate diagnosis -image source: http://www.medicinerevealed.com/index.html
Accurate diagnosis -image source: http://www.medicinerevealed.com/index.html

 8 Tips for Patients to Ensure an Accurate Diagnosis

Patient advocate, Martine Ehrenclou, says patients should keep a symptom diary that answers the following questions:

  1. What are your symptoms?
  2. Where are they located?
  3. What makes your symptoms worse or better, such as exercise or eating a meal?
  4. Time of day your symptoms are better or worse?
  5. Was there a physical event or new medication associated with the onset of your symptoms?
  6. What you have tried to alleviate your symptoms? Was anything successful?
  7. If pain accompanies your symptoms or pain is the symptom, track it. On a scale of 1 to 10, 10 being the worst, document it daily.
  8. Bring your symptom diary with you to see your doctor and discuss it with him/her.
8 tips for patients to ensure an accurate diagnosis @Med_writer #ptsafety Click To Tweet

Being Prepared Can Help

As the above 8 Tips point out – being prepared can help.

Being prepared also includes:

Protecting Yourself from Blood Clots – A recent RxList article points out,”If you are currently or recently hospitalized, recovering from surgery, or being treated for cancer, you are at increased risk of developing serious and potentially deadly blood clots. This condition, called healthcare-associated venous thromboembolism (HA-VTE), is a deadly, costly, and growing public health problem. Learn what you can do to protect yourself.

Making Sure Your Surgical Center is Following the Latest Standards – Dr. Kenneth Rothfield spoke at this year’s OR Excellence conference on why the death of Joan Rivers should be a wake up call for surgical centers and patients. Said Dr. Rothfield, “The death of Joan Rivers has drawn attention to the safety of outpatient surgery facilities. Hopefully, the positive from this scrutiny will be a re-evaluation of policies and practices, and safety culture at surgical centers that result in improvements to patient safety.”

Leave a Comment, if You Care About Patient Safety