Wanted to know how you could be empowered to keep safe in the healthcare system?
Wondered how you could be an advocate for a loved one to avoid medical malpractice?
Felt powerless like no one was listening to your concerns about your health care?
Wondered how you could be healthier so you would not need as much medical care?
The mission of Avoid Medical Errors is to help you to stay healthy and to avoid becoming the victim of a medical error. You will receive critical information and tips to teach you, as a healthcare consumer, how to ask questions, be empowered, and to seek safe health care. You will get both a free magazine written by medical/legal experts and the opportunity for indepth essential help from our paid membership site.
You will learn from our president’s expertise. Avoid Medical Errors was born from the experience of our president, Patricia Iyer RN MSN LNCC, in her work with medical malpractice attorneys. Over the past 24 years she has seen thousands of people injured by the healthcare system, and she want to share information to help you become a good patient advocate for yourself and your loved ones. Patricia is an authority on the topic of nursing and medical malpractice. She has coauthored or edited more than 25 medical legal texts. As a speaker and author, she has shared her expert knowledge with audiences of nurses, attorneys, paralegals and physicians.
Hi I am Elizabeth Hill and I have a PhD in nursing. I am an independent falls consultant who also practice sin a community hospital on an oncology unit. I have a focus on fall-related injury and I wanted to let the community know currently that deaths related to falls are the fifth most common cause of death across all populations. I wanted to give some tips for how we might be able to prevent falls in the community. Some special focus on older adults would include checking medications – doing a brown bag- taking the bag with all of your medications to your primary care doctor and going through these medications to make sure there are not any drug to drug interactions. Make sure you are on the appropriate dosages because our liver and our kidney function slows down. So the medications are one very important thing. And the other thing is making sure you don’t have hazards in the home and things you might trip on. Keep in mind those cats and dogs because they can serve as obstacles in our environment. Those would be the tips of the day on fall prevention. Thank you. Get your free magazine at www.avoidmedicalerrors.com.
The US News Report is i n- the best hospitals in the United States are ranked and named. Why is this important information for you? If you have a choice about which hospital to go to, select one that has a high ranking. US News looked at data about nearly 5,000 hospitals and found just 140 that ranked high in one of the specialties. The report rates hospitals in three different ways- by specialty, by metropolitan area, and by use of electronic medical records. See the report here.
You complain that no one seems to know about your condition when you are in the hospital and that you can’t get answers. Miscommunication is the primary reason why medical errors occur and lead to medical malpractice. Here are some ways that staff can share information about you.
The nurse from the off going shift meets with the nurse on the oncoming shift. They walk together to each patient’s room. The oncoming nurse introduces himself or herself to the patient. The nurse who is completing her shift discusses:
• the important events of the shift,
• your condition and symptoms,
• any calls that have not been returned by the physician,
• important laboratory results, and
• anything else that might affect your care for the next shift.
This is called change of shift report. While it is occurring, the nursing assistants should be on the nursing unit answering call lights.
The nurse, physician, patient and family may make rounds together. What does this mean? The nurse and physician together go to the physician’s patients’ rooms. The nurse shares information with the physician, and they discuss your condition and the plans to move you along through your hospital stay. This close coordination and sharing of information can shorten your hospital stay by bringing to light any barriers to your discharge or transfer to another facility.
Your room has a white board on the wall. Physicians, nurses, patients and their family members can write messages to each other on the white board.
Your nurse leaves notes for the physician on the front of your chart. This tried and true method is effective if the physician comes to see you soon every day and sees the note and your needs are not urgent.
What can you do as a patient to help enhance the flow of information?
1. Ask the nurse caring for you to tell the next nurse about a specific problem or request that you might have.
2. If your nursing unit staff make walking rounds at change of shift, be open about your needs. Be direct and tell the nurses about your concerns or symptoms.
3. If your room has a white board, write messages to your doctor or nurse so that it comes to their attention when they enter the room.
4. If your room does not have a white board, develop a list of questions for your doctor and bring out the list when you see him or her. Create a similar list for your nurse, and batch your questions. Nurses appreciate being asked 3 questions at one time than being asked 3 questions 10 minutes apart, therefore interrupting their care of another patient.
5. Ask your nurse to contact your physician if your question is urgent. If it is not urgent, ask your nurse to leave a note for your physician.
6. If your nurse gets nowhere with reaching your physician, use your hospital phone to call your physician’s office. This is usually effective in getting attention. It disrupts the protocol- the nurse is supposed to call the doctor, not the patient in the hospital.
7. Be firm in asking your questions and insisting on answers.
8. If you are a family member, use these techniques to get attention for your family member.
Patricia Iyer is a registered nurse who worked in hospitals for 35 years before she started AvoidMedicalErrors.com.
Hello, I am Kathleen Ashton. I am a nurse from Hammonton, New Jersey. And I’d like to tell you about one important area in nursing care and that is nutrition. When a patient is in the hospital,l many times the doctors and nurses are so busy taking care of the patient – the medical and nursing issues- that they may tend to overlook the nutrition. And the difficulty with that is that we are limited as far as doctors and nurses with hospital food. That’s the number one complaint we get from patients and it is a legitimate complaint.
Patients many times are in a position where they need all the support they can get and it is imperative as family members to speak up about nutrition. There are many ways to do that. Most hospitals will supply patient wants and requests on the menu so if you are helping your loved one filling out the menu, you can add in other things you think he or may she enjoy. Or you can also bring in things from home. I would definitely recommend you speak with the nurse and physician first. But many times you as the loved one know what that person will eat. So you can bring in things from home that will sometimes supplement or replace the menu they are getting from the hospital.
And many times it is overlooked but it is a very important factor in healing. I have seen patients who with the proper nutrition can do amazing things in terms of recovery. So that is an important factor in nursing care.
Worried about medical blunders? Protect yourself. Sign up for your free Avoid Medical Errors magazine at AvoidMedicalErrors.com.