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Respect is a critical factor in advancing patient safety

If you have ever required emergency care, hospitalization or treatment for a serious illness, you likely understand how important it is to have mutual respect between you and your healthcare providers. Without mutual respect, there can be no real trust. And without trust, it can be difficult to understand whether you are receiving the level of care that you both require and deserve.

Recently, it has been determined that respect is not “simply” an important factor in ensuring that patients feel satisfied with their care and comfortable with their providers. It turns out that respect is a critical factor in ensuring that patients remain safe while they are being diagnosed and treated.

As you may know, preventable medical errors are now being widely cited as the third leading cause of death for adults in the United States. Preventing medical errors and ensuring patient safety is therefore no ordinary task. This process may literally mean the difference between life and death. A study recently released by Consumer Reports indicates that the level of respect granted by medical providers in regards to their patients illustrates the likelihood that those patients will become the victims of preventable medical errors.

If you feel that your healthcare providers do not treat you with respect, consider obtaining your care elsewhere. The lack of respect that these practitioners show you may directly link you to a highly likelihood of becoming a victim of a preventable medical error. And it is entirely possible that one day a preventable medical error affecting you could be fatal.

Source:, "Consumer Reports Study: Demanding Respect From Doctors May Save Your Life," Robert J. Szczerba, January 19, 2015

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