Safety First Resource January 12, 2017.

According to the National Health Institute, healthcare in the United States is not as safe as it should be. Two major studies, including "To Err Is Human: Building A Safer Health System," Institute of Medicine, November 1999, found that at least 44,000 people, and perhaps as many as 98,000 people, die in hospitals each year as a result of medical errors that could have been prevented. Other research suggests that the number may be far higher, with preventable errors and negligence taking the lives of 195,000 people each year. (See "Patient Safety in American Hospitals," www.healthgrades.com, July 2004.

A little knowledge about your healthcare provider can go a long way in reducing your risk of becoming a victim of medical malpractice. The following websites may help.

Choosing Your Healthcare Provider

State Medical Board of Ohio – Use the "for consumers" tab to research your doctor and learn about his/her education, licensure, board disciplinary actions, and more.

American Board of Medical Specialties (ABMS) – This not-for-profit organization comprises 24 medical specialty boards and is the pre-eminent entity that oversees physician certification in the United States. ABMS’ mission has been to maintain and improve the quality of medical care by assisting its Member Boards in developing and implementing educational and professional standards to evaluate and certify physician specialists. ABMS is recognized by the key healthcare accreditation organizations as a primary equivalent source of board certification data on medical specialists for credentialing purposes.

Joint Commission on Accreditation of Healthcare Organizations (JCAHO) – Established more than 50 years ago, this independent, not-for-profit organization is governed by a board that includes physicians, nurses, and consumers and evaluates the quality and safety of care for more than 15,000 health care organizations.

Health Grades – This independent healthcare ratings organization provides ratings and profiles of hospitals, nursing homes, and physicians.

Reduce Your Risk of Medical Mistakes

Resources for surgical safety

Partner with Physician for Best Surgical Outcome – AAOS

When Your Child Needs Anesthesia – ASA

Resources for Safe Medication Use

Food & Drug Interactions (PDF File)- NCL

Preventing Medicine Mishaps – CHIC

Online Medical Dictionaries

Mayo Clinic

National Institutes of Health – MedLine Plus

WebMD

PDR Health – A wide range of e-solutions, publications, drug databases, and communications vehicles to pharmaceutical companies, hospitals, physicians and other healthcare providers, and managed-care organizations.

Pocket Guide to Good Health for Children

Pocket Guide to Good Health for Adults

healthfinder® – Provides a gateway to reliable consumer health information from the Federal Government and other organizations.