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How to prevent hospital errors

It's enough to make you sick. Although hospitals are required by law to have systems in place to prevent patient identification mix-us and medication errors, it still happens. What can you do?

* Read hospital report cards. They're available to the public and contain data on the number of patients the hospital treats and its areas of specialty and mortality rates. To find out how a hospital rates, visit healthgrades.com.

* Bring your medical history. For a history form, log on to the American College of Emergency Physicians' Web site at acep.org. The form should include current medications, health insurance and your physician's name and number.

* Keep a notebook. Write down questions and the name of the doctors who treat you.

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