PERSPECTIVES

 

Planning to Have Surgery?

By Barbara Bronson Gray, RN, MN from her blog “BodBoss.”
This is an excellent check-list type article about preparing for, and following up after, surgery. There are a myriad of things we as patients can forget, so it helps to have some reminders.

Scrub Up! Prevent 99,000 deaths from healthcare associated infections

By Martine Ehrenclou – “It’s difficult to ask your doctor or other medical provider if he/she has washed up. Some physicians see it as a direct challenge and take offense, while others are receptive to respectful prompting.”

Now’s the Time to Write Down Your Personal Healthcare Checklist

By Barbara Bronson Gray, RN, MN and Alexandra Yperifanos “Think of a time when you’ve felt very sick, maybe a case of pneumonia, a bad bout of the flu, or a more serious illness…How do you protect yourself when your energy reserve is at zero due to illness? One solution is to create a personal healthcare checklist – and share it with the most important people in your life.”

Letting Patients Read the Doctor’s Notes

By Pauline W. Chen, M.D. “…“It’s as we say: Nothing about me without me…” Getting hold of your medical records is not always easy but making every effort to do it and to do it regularly will inevitably be of great help to you and your family. Once you’ve compiled your historical medical data, then, after each medical visit, make sure to ask for copies. You should be the one with the most complete file of your medical history. With facts in hand, you can best advocate for your needs and those of your loved ones. This is an excellent article from The New York Times Health Section speaking exactly to this point.

Asking Our Doctor Questions – Many of Us Don’t Have Much to Say

By Stephen Wilkins, MPH. “Since the first of such studies going back to the late 1970s, researchers have found that, except for patients who are highly involved in their own health care, most people ask their doctor few if any important health questions.”

Consider This: What Happens When We Go from Being Customers to Being Patients?

By Alexandra Yperifanos. The adage says “the customer is always right”. But what if the customer is a patient? There seems to be a lot in the news lately about patients being afraid to speak openly to their doctors.

Are You Afraid of Being Labeled a Difficult Patient?

By Barbara Bronson Gray, RN, MN “…The fear of being labeled “difficult” affects many of us, even we who consider ourselves self-confident and capable in other arenas of our life outside of health care. We’re a nation of pleasers when it comes to health care. Unfortunately, wanting to please your healthcare providers and their staff can negatively affect the quality of your health care…”

How to Avoid Medical Errors: 8 Key Tips

By Barbara Bronson Gray, RN, MN. “Whenever you have an interaction with the healthcare system you are at risk of being affected by a medical error.”

Scylla and Charybdis: The Doctor’s Dilemma and How Patients Can Help

By Alexandra Yperifanos. I wonder how often a patient says “It’s OK that the doctor rushed me, I’m one of 80 people he has to see today. Besides, he has hours of follow-up paperwork on top of that. He’s very busy.” Probably not very often. It’s in our nature to want “good service” and want to be heard.

Preventing Medical Errors in Electronic Health Records

By Alexandra Yperifanos. Electronic health records are a brilliant idea, in theory. The reality, however, is that the information they contain is at great risk of human error.

How to De-Frag Your Health Care

By Barbara Bronson Gray, RN, MN. “If your computer has ever slowed way down you may have been advised to “defrag,” which puts all parts of a file together in the same place on the drive, enabling it to run faster and more efficiently. In much the same way, your health care needs to be de-fragged. For most people, health care is extremely fragmented, creating errors, delaying diagnoses and treatment and increasing costs.”

The Butter is Spread Too Thin: A Day in the Life of a Nurse

Hospital nurses are faced with many challenges when caring for patients. Constant interruptions are only one of the unavoidable realities in a day in the life of a nurse. ‘Interruption Awareness: A Nursing Minute for Patient Safety!’ is a video produced by Beth Boynton, MS, RN which illustrates the challenges nurses must overcome to do their work while being continuously interrupted.

Never Give Up On Your Health – Sniffing out a Discovery

By Katie Little. “…During the last 5 years, I have gone to three different doctors for opinions regarding my problem, with all three indicating that nothing was wrong and that I should learn to live with this difficulty…”

Could I Be a Better Patient?

By Jennifer Huget. “You think you’ve got this being-a-patient thing down pat: You put on your paper gown (opening in the back), flip through a dog-eared People magazine, have your blood pressure taken, see the doctor for five minutes, answer his or her questions, pay your co-pay and get back to work. But is there anything you can do to get more out of that doctor visit?”

The Doctor-Patient Relationship Can Be Difficult

By Dr. Jordan Grumet. “…The doctor-patient relationship can be difficult. At it’s best, it is a mutual, symbiotic connection between client and consultant. Sometimes, however, being a physician is like trying to parent two thousand teenagers. Although there is great affection on both sides of the examining table, the perspective is markedly different.”