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Book offers 10 checklists for hospital patients / Links to related resources

As Elizabeth points out, it is important for patients and patient families to advocate for themselves.
Competent professional health care providers will welcome folks who are prepared and take an active role.
Dedicated hospital staff will not feel antagonized. They will work address concerns and questions for the patient’s benefit.

From the 2 February 2012 article at USA Today

Elizabeth Bailey learned what could go wrong in a hospital the hard way: by watching her elderly father endure a long in-patient nightmare.

It's important to keep your medications organized because drug mix-ups are among the biggest risks you face in a hospital, experts say.

It’s important to keep your medications organized because drug mix-ups are among the biggest risks you face in a hospital, experts say.

It’s important to keep your medications organized because drug mix-ups are among the biggest risks you face in a hospital, experts say.

Her dad got too much of one medicine, not enough of others and the wrong food (heavy sweets for a diabetic). One day, he went missing for six hours and, on another, he ended up in restraints on a psychiatric ward (he was suffering mental confusion from his mismanaged medications and poorly controlled blood sugar).

“There were mistakes all the time,” says Bailey, who at the time was a music video producer. “I felt like I was on a very poorly run film set.” She realized her family needed a system to handle the chaos.

Six years later, she has turned that system into a book:The Patient’s Checklist: 10 Simple Hospital Checklists to Keep You Safe, Sane & Organized. And she is no longer a video producer: Instead, at age 50, she is a graduate student in health advocacy and a patient representative at a New York City hospital.

Her mantra: “You want to go in hoping for the best, but you have to prepare — I don’t want to say for the worst — but you have to prepare for everything.”

Among her checklists:

•Before-you-go list. One tip: Organize a schedule for friends and family to be with you in the hospital. Especially crucial: having someone with you the night after a surgery (even if you must hire someone).

•What-to-bring list. Included: “economy-sized hand sanitizer.” You should plant that next to your bed so that you can frequently clean your hands — and not-so-subtly remind everyone else to do likewise. That may lower the risk that you will pick up a nasty infection.

•Daily medication log. She provides a chart to keep track of the name, timing and dosage of every drug you get. That’s because drug mix-ups are among the biggest risks you face in a hospital.

•Discharge plan. On that list: Make sure you know how to handle surgical sites, medical equipment and medications at home….

Related Resources

In her recent book, “The Patient’s Checklist: 10 Simple Hospital Checklists to Keep You Safe, Sane and Organized,” Elizabeth Bailey describes the simple steps patients can take to avoid some of the most common (and potentially deadly) medical mistakes in the hospital. The theme throughout: Pay attention, ask questions, and never assume that any hospital is error-free where your care is concerned.

Including these links

November 8, 2012 Posted by | Consumer Health, Consumer Safety, Health Education (General Public) | , , | Leave a comment

   

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