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
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.