We see it all the time on television: The brilliant, gifted, world-class physician barking orders at his nurse, shutting down her suggestions or objections with a snorted, "Just do it!" There are complications, and the team scrambles to save the patient's arm or kidney or life. Everything turns out all right, because the doctor finally listens to the nurse, who learned some critical health information during an informal chat with the patient before surgery, when the nurse was reassuring the patient that the doctor is, indeed, The Best.
Texas residents who have been following the race for the Republican presidential nomination certainly know the name Rick Santorum. Once considered out of the race, the former senator from Pennsylvania has staged quite a comeback in recent week and now appears to be a contender once again.
The federal government has been collecting patient safety data for some time now. Looking at hospitals and physicians, tracking adverse events -- all of this is intended to provide more transparency for patients and payers. As consumers, the theory goes, knowing about the number and types of medical errors that occur in a hospital will encourage us to choose the facility with better ratings; facilities that fall short will have to improve to keep our business.
There are a million jokes about lying. For example: How can you tell that a politician is lying? His lips are moving. In this case, you can substitute just about any profession and get a laugh -- except doctor. We don't like to believe that doctors lie.
It is never fun visiting even the best emergency room in Houston. Worrying about yourself or a loved one in an acute care situation is stressful enough; you should not have to worry about what day of the week it is. Still, a new study has confirmed that there is a correlation between the day of the week a person is admitted and the patient's chances of survival.
While the previous post explained the new checklist initiative at some hospitals throughout the country, a woman who endured a long battle alongside her ailing father wrote a new book on checklists that may be useful for hospital patients and their loved ones. The book is entitled The Patient's Checklist: 10 Simple Hospital Checklists to Keep You Safe, Sane & Organized by Elizabeth Bailey.
Despite significant efforts to improve the rate of medical errors at hospitals and facilities throughout the country, there is still a lingering problem. In 2010 alone, the government found that approximately 15,000 Medicare patients died from poor medical care each month. That number is substantially similar to the estimate released by the national Academy of Sciences that said as many as 100,000 patients die each year due to preventable medical malpractice and medical errors.