Today I’m participating in a workshop, “Engaging Minority Communities in Safer Healthcare,” organized by MITSS (Medically Induced Trauma Support Services), a Boston non-profit I’ve written about before.

The current speaker is Lisa O’Connor, VP of Nursing at Boston Medical Center. She just showed this four minute safety awareness video, produced by Quantros. Much of its content will be familiar to our readers here (the frequency of medical errors and hospital acquired infections), but I’m posting it here because of its good, concrete, specific actions every patient should know. That part starts around 2:30. (My highlights below.)

Empowering “teachables”:

  • Your participation counts
  • Learn more – get educated
  • Empower yourself
    • Do your research before going to the hospital or when visiting your doctor
    • Understand every procedure
    • Know everything about your prescribed medications
    • Ask lots of questions
  • It’s your life – get involved

If you want to give someone a very quick introduction to being a more cautious patient, try this quick video.

By the way, MITSS does magnificent work, helping not just families but clinicians who are involved in medical errors. We have a cultural mythology that clinicians should be perfect, and good lives can be ruined by presuming that punishment is always appropriate. MITSS founder Linda Kenney experienced a significant medical error, and the next year she and the doctor formed this wonderful organization to provide support services to people involved, and to help people learn about patient safety and quality healthcare. Their annual fundraiser dinner is November 4 in Boston – please participate.

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