If this article sounds similar to a recent experience that you or a loved one have suffered from, please don't hesitate to contact us online or call 859-578-4444 to schedule a free consultation!\r\n\u00a0\u00a0\u00a0\u00a0\u00a0Attorney\u00a0Ronald E. Johnson of Schachter & Hendy\u00a0concentrates on legal issues surrounding medical mistakes.\u00a0\u00a0A recent report from\u00a0ABC News\u00a0says the chance of a serious medical mistake is small, but errors do happen. A report published in April by HealthGrades surveyed Medicare hospital records and found that nearly 3% of patients were at risk of some kind of medical error.Some studies say that at least 80% of medical errors are from patients not taking the correct medicine or taking the wrong dosage.\r\nThe\u00a0Boston Globe\u00a0reports that there were 36 times in the past four years where surgeons operated on the wrong place or the wrong patient in Massachusetts hospitals. And\u00a0Women'sHealth.about.com\u00a0reports that the Institute of Medicine estimates that 44,000-98,000 people die from medical errors in hospitals each year.\r\nSome hospitals and surgeons are implementing procedures to minimize these mistakes.\u00a0\u00a0Medical errors can occur in a variety of places\u2014doctor's offices, labs, hospitals, pharmacies, or surgeries. Errors can happen because of actual mistakes such as prescribing medicine that a patient is allergic to, or just a lack of communication between patient and doctor. A recent study by the Agency for Healthcare Research and Quality found that patients who are uninformed or uninvolved in their own care may not follow a doctor's treatment, and doctors sometimes don't do enough to help patients make informed decisions.\r\nWomen's Health reports that government agencies and health care providers are developing procedures to make sure patients stay safe. They've put together a list of tips patients can follow to make sure they get safe medical care:\r\n\r\n \tbe informed and a part of making decisions about their your care plan\r\n \tmake sure all your doctors know about the medicines and supplements you take\r\n \tlet doctors know of any allergies or bad reactions to medicines\r\n \tmake sure you can read a written prescription\r\n \t\u00a0ask for more information about medicines so you understand what you're taking\r\n \task for more information about medicines so you understand what you're taking\r\n \t\u00a0make sure you understand all of the directions for taking the medicine\r\n \task the pharmacist for the right device for measuring liquid medicine to get the correct dose\r\n \t\u00a0be sure to understand the possible side effects of different medications\r\n \t\u00a0choose a hospital that specializes in your type of surgical procedure\r\n \t\u00a0ask all health care workers in the hospital to wash their hands\r\n \tmake sure you understand your treatment plan after you leave the hospital\r\n \tbefore a surgical procedure make sure you and the doctor communicate clearly\r\n \task a friend of relative to be your advocate in the hospital\r\n\r\n\r\nu\u00a0\u00a0\u00a0\u00a0ask the pharmacist for the right device for measuring liquid medicine to get the correct dose\r\nu\u00a0\u00a0\u00a0\u00a0be sure to understand the possible side effects of different medications\r\nu\u00a0\u00a0\u00a0\u00a0choose a hospital that specializes in your type of surgical procedure\r\nu\u00a0\u00a0\u00a0\u00a0ask all health care workers in the hospital to wash their hands\r\nu\u00a0\u00a0\u00a0\u00a0make sure you understand your treatment plan after you leave the hospital\r\nu\u00a0\u00a0\u00a0\u00a0before a surgical procedure make sure you and the doctor communicate clearly\r\nu\u00a0\u00a0\u00a0\u00a0ask a friend of relative to be your advocate in the hospit\r\n\r\nFor more information, go to the AHRQ Publications Clearinghouse: phone, 1-800-358-9295 (outside the United States, please call 410-381-3150) or E-mail: firstname.lastname@example.org.