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Health Tip: Help Prevent Medical Errors

Keep your doctors informed

(HealthDay News) -- Medical errors can occur when doctors don't have all of the information they need from a patient, including a comprehensive list of medications the patient takes, patient symptoms, and advice the patient has received from other doctors.

To reduce your risk, follow these suggestions from the American Academy of Family Physicians:

  • Give each of your doctors a complete list of every drug and supplement you take -- including prescriptions, OTCs, supplements, vitamins and herbs. Update this list at least once a year.
  • Make sure your doctor knows all of your allergies and adverse reactions to medications or substances.
  • Ask questions about your medications before you start taking them.
  • Have your doctor write prescriptions legibly and clearly to avoid errors at the pharmacy.
  • Make sure your doctor or pharmacist gives you written information about potential side effects.
  • Make sure each of your doctors has a complete medical history.
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