Thousands of patients admitted to New York hospitals every year rely on the skills and experience of nurses, physicians and other medical providers, but that doesn’t mean that mistakes don’t happen. Medical errors and negligence are responsible for causing thousands of patient injuries, illnesses and deaths every year throughout the country. That’s why it’s important to be aware of what can go wrong in the hospital.
Many people do not realize their medical records may be vulnerable to exploitation in the hospital. After all, who knows who may be looking at a patient’s chart besides their physician? Individuals that suspect their personal security may have been compromised while in the hospital may check their credit and monitor for fraud.
On a similar note, sometimes it’s difficult to know who is doing what in a hospital setting. It’s recommended that patients identify attending physicians and med students so that they always know who is handling their case and why.
It’s also suggested that patients pay attention to the hygiene of hospital staff. Patient infections are linked to poor hand washing techniques by medical providers, and can be very serious. Another major concern related to patient health and safety revolves around ER wait times. It’s estimated that more patients die and/or require hospital admittance because of long ER waits.
Part of the reason hospital ERs may be so congested is that many facilities contend with nursing shortages. And unfortunately, there is a correlation between staffing issues and patient fatalities. Hospital patients also suffer when they are not attended to properly. Bedside call systems are sometimes ignored by medical staff, leaving some patients in need.
Lastly, patients are encouraged to protect themselves against a major issue in hospitals: pharmacy errors. Confirming one’s prescription and dosage each time can save lives.
Source: Yahoo! Health, “Protect Yourself: Eight Common Mistakes Made by Hospital Staffs,” Cindy Kuzma, Oct. 7, 2013