Topic: Medical Errors

medical jargon
Mar 31 2022

How self-advocacy can lower the risk of misdiagnosis for women

Health Risk Management  •  By Miles Varn, MD

A man and a woman, who are both having a heart attack, go to the emergency room. But it’s 50% more likely that the woman will be misdiagnosed than the man. If they were both having a stroke, the woman is nearly 30% more likely to receive the wrong diagnosis. Why is the woman’s risk... Read More

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hospital
Mar 10 2022

Four things to consider when choosing a hospital

Health Risk Management  •  By Miles Varn, MD

When they need hospital care, many people simply go to the closest hospital or the one their doctor recommends. But if you need care at a hospital, whether it’s for labor and delivery, back surgery, joint replacement, cancer treatment, or treatment for heart disease, it’s important to do some research before you choose where to... Read More

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in the ICU
Feb 24 2022

How to advocate for a loved one in the ICU

Family Caregiving  •  By Miles Varn, MD

If someone you care about is seriously ill or injured and is receiving care in the ICU, you can play an important role in ensuring they get the care they need and that that care is in line with their wishes. One thing that can help guide you is your loved one’s healthcare directive or... Read More

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fragmented care
Oct 19 2021

How to protect yourself from the risks of fragmented care

Health Risk Management  •  By Miles Varn, MD

You end up in the emergency department after breaking your ankle in a minor car accident. You tell the nurse that you take blood thinners because you’ve been diagnosed with atrial fibrillation. The doctor treating your ankle says he’s reviewed your electronic medical record, so you assume he’s aware of the medications you take. But... Read More

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second opinion
Sep 13 2021

Three challenges to getting a second opinion and how to overcome them

Second Opinion  •  By Miles Varn, MD

A second opinion can be a valuable tool to help you ensure that your diagnosis is accurate and you’re choosing an appropriate treatment plan. Second opinions from experienced specialists can confirm or change your diagnosis and treatment options, lowering your risk of misdiagnosis and inappropriate treatment. Researchers at the Mayo Clinic found that approximately 88%... Read More

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surgeon's experience
Dec 1 2020

Your surgeon’s experience can mean the difference between a good outcome and a poor one

Health Risk Management  •  By Miles Varn, MD

If your doctor has recommended surgery, there are two important steps you should take before agreeing to undergo any procedure. First, seek a second opinion from a physician who has extensive experience treating people with your diagnosis. A second opinion can change or confirm your diagnosis and treatment plan and may provide you with other,... Read More

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medication review
Nov 17 2020

Should you ask your doctor for a medication review?

Health Risk Management  •  By Miles Varn, MD

According to statistics gathered by the CDC, nearly half of adults in the U.S. take one prescription medication, while nearly a quarter take three or more prescription medications. The numbers are even higher for people who are 65 and older. Eighty-nine percent of people included in a Kaiser Family Foundation Health Tracking Poll take one... Read More

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medical record
Nov 10 2020

Three ways to protect yourself from medical record mistakes

Health Risk Management  •  By Miles Varn, MD

In a perfect world, your electronic medical record would bring together your medical information from all the healthcare providers you see into a single, comprehensive record that could be easily accessed by any provider anywhere in the world with your permission. This information could reduce your risk of medical errors, duplicate testing, and inappropriate treatment.... Read More

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second opinions
Oct 27 2020

Second opinions: Five situations when you should get one

Second Opinion  •  By Miles Varn, MD

Second opinions can help lower your risk of experiencing a medical error or misdiagnosis, allow you to learn about all treatment options and their benefits and risks, connect you with physicians who have experience and success treating people with your condition, and provide you with peace of that mind that your diagnosis and treatment plan... Read More

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medical jargon
Jun 16 2020

How to translate your doctor’s medical jargon

Disease Management  •  By Miles Varn, MD

Would you understand if your doctor told you your EKG was unremarkable or your condition was idiopathic? Like all professions, medicine has its own vocabulary. Unfortunately, most patients aren’t fluent in the language of medical jargon and many doctors don’t provide plain English explanations when sharing information, test results, or recommendations with their patients. That... Read More

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