In prior posts, Maryland medication mistake attorneys have asked our readers to question their doctors before taking prescription medications. Proactive patients are better able to notice potential medication mistakes before they occur and are less likely to suffer injuries.
The Agency for Healthcare Research and Quality (“AHRQ”), a part of the U.S. Department of Health & Human Services, has noted the substantial impact medication mistakes have on patients and the country as a whole. On itswebsite, the AHRQ quotes a report from the Institute of Medicine (“IOM”) which found that medication mistakes kill from 44,000 to 98,000 people each year. The report also indicated that medical mistakes cost the country approximately $17 billion each year in increased health care costs.
In order to help reduce medication mistakes, the AHRQ has developed a national ad campaign to encourage Americans to take a more active role in their health care by asking critical questions of their doctors, nurses, and pharmacists. The program drives home the point that Americans typically ask more questions of a cellular phone salesperson than they do of their physicians. The campaign’s website provides a top ten list of critical questions patients should ask their health care providers during appointments. Additionally, the website also has a “Question Builder” that allows readers to develop their own personalized list of questions.