According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, medical errors cause the death of about 100,000 Americans each year, making it critical that parents play an active role in the safe delivery of healthcare to their child.
Preventing these errors often begins by making sure the medical team has your child’s complete health history.
“A detailed health history about your family and child is very important,” said Samantha Formica, RN, a staff nurse on the transitional care unit at Akron Children’s Hospital. “It’s important to provide what has happened in your family, when and what the outcome was of that event. That will help determine any healthcare risks your child may be put at.”
This history should include a complete record of every medication a child has taken, as well as any potential allergens.
“It’s important that you know any allergies your child has had in the past, and also any allergies that you have in your family,” said Formica. “Please share that information with your provider. It will be important that your child does not receive a medication that could potentially harm him or her.”
At the hospital, nurses and other members of the healthcare team should be available to answer questions about the health and well being of your child. Many hospitals even have special teams to intervene when families feel a situation is not getting the needed response.
“The medical response team provides a second set of eyes to give an assessment on the patient, and also provide treatment recommendations to your healthcare team,” said Formica.
In the following video, Formica discusses these and other steps families can take to ensure the safest care for their child.