Posts Tagged ‘ medical errors ’

How Patient Advocates Can Improve Health Literacy

How Patient Advocates Can Improve Health Literacy

Many clinicians, insurance company claims representatives, lobbyists, and directors of medical associations do not realize how many adults in the U.S. (90 million) are not conversant with navigating the health care system. Even if they are aware of the fact itself, the seriousness of the implications may escape them. Low levels of health education...

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Nursing Burnout and the Three-Day, Ten-Hour Work Shift

Nursing Burnout and the Three-Day, Ten-Hour Work Shift

It’s no secret that hospital nurses are overworked and underpaid. Worse, long shifts lead to emotional and physical burnout that places the safety of patients, as well as the nurse’s own career, at serious risk. One study revealed that nurses who work shifts longer than ten hours are at sharply increased risk for burnout....

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What Can One Person Do to Improve Health Care Quality?

What Can One Person Do to Improve Health Care Quality?

Because our current health care system places patients in the position of caveat emptor (“Buyer Beware”), we cannot currently rely upon medical providers to maintain, much less implement, even basic patient safety protocols. Just a few examples include (1) your assuming that a doctor complies with hand hygiene, or (2) that hospitals wipe surfaces...

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Excessive Medical Treatment?

Excessive Medical Treatment?

Upon reading Tara Parker-Pope‘s article, “Too Much Medical Treatment,” I was moved to compare and contrast my experience at San Francisco Kaiser Medical Center for the same issue: a moderately-severe sprained ankle that occurred on a Sunday. I checked in to the Emergency Room and was  immediately placed in an examining room. A nurse-practitioner...

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Can We Talk?

Can We Talk?

A new report by a division of the AHA agrees with previous research: that effective physician-nurse communication positively impacts patient safety. The research was conducted by HealthGrades, which identified the top performing 5% hospitals in patient safety. Kristin Reed, Vice President of Clinical Quality Programs and author of the study, asserted that it is...

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Educational Podcasts for the Health Care Consumer

Educational Podcasts for the Health Care Consumer

Free podcasts are available to the general public, courtesy of my professional association, the National Association of Healthcare Advocacy Consultants (NAHAC).   For instance, Richard Heasley, director of San Francisco’s Conard House, presented a teleconference on May 16, 2012  entitled “Effective Teamwork with Psychiatric Patients.” Other topics include eldercare, patient safety, Medicare, and many others. You can...

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Trust Your Instincts!

Trust Your Instincts!

As a patient advocate, I’ve sometimes had to explain to clients that often a positive result from an early diagnostic will not change their medical regime. Additionally, many health issues in early stages either do not progress or, thanks to homeostasis or perhaps just the vagaries of life, sometimes self-resolve. 

Too much medical treatment...

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It’s here! National Patient Safety Awareness Week: March 4 – March 10

It’s here! National Patient Safety Awareness Week: March 4 – March 10

“Be Aware for Safe Care” is this year’s theme of the National Patient Safety Foundation. The NPSF leads global efforts to promote patient safety awareness among health care providers and consumers. Every year the NPSF reaffirms the Universal Patient Compact, a set of principles which emphasize the importance of partnership between patients and providers....

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A hospital patient has fewer odds of surviving than an airline passenger.

A hospital patient has fewer odds of surviving than an airline passenger.

  Seems counterintuitive, yes? But examine the facts.  High infection rates (1 out of 3 on a “good” day) can be virtually eliminated; medical errors significantly so. Both require commitment from the public, hospital administrators, and the government. So please don’t be afraid to ask clinicians if they’ve washed their hands before touching a patient! This includes...

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Proven to Dramatically Reduce Medical Errors…

Proven to Dramatically Reduce Medical Errors…

Such a simple concept with a life-or-death impact — many physicians increasingly advocate using checklists to manage medical issues. This isn’t a new idea. The aviation industry and commercial building contractors have relied on this method for decades – with great results. Medicine has been a bit slower to adopt the checklist method, but...

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