What Patients are talking about in safety…

In Patient Safety on December 26, 2010 at 10:38 am

from the Las Vegas Sun:
“Reform is slow in coming because hospitals and doctors are not directly accountable — financially — to patients and provide little transparency, said Haskell, who was named one of the “100 Most Powerful People in Healthcare” in 2009 by Modern Healthcare magazine.
“The customer doesn’t pay directly, and they (hospitals and doctors) keep everything to do with price and quality secret,” she said.
John James, a Houston toxicologist, lost his son in 2002 when cardiologists failed to diagnose — even though he was an avid summer runner — his levels of the electrolytes potassium and magnesium were dangerously low. James said hospital patients need a bill of rights. He proposes it require:
• Showing patients their records on a daily basis. “Medical records are a playground for doctors,” James said. “You should have a right to see them every day and see that they reflect what took place.”
• Informing patients about the competency of their physicians, including whether they are board certified or have been in drug rehab.
• That doctors use methods backed by medical research and administer medications only for Food and Drug Administration-approved purposes.
• Informing patients and getting their permission to perform surgeries in ways that clearly explain risks and do not use fear to manipulate decisions.”

All of us in healthcare attempting to implement patient safety improvements must not forget to include in our efforts the most important voice of all: the patients themselves

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