Kathie Lee & Hoda: How To Avoid Hospital Mistakes
Kathie Lee Gifford and Hoda Kotb said 98,000 deaths a year are caused by medical mistakes and one in seven hospital patients have experienced unintended harm. They are joined by Diane Salvatore, Editor-In-Chief at Prevention Magazine, and Dr. Tasneem Bhatia, Contributing Editor at Prevention Magazine, to discuss how to avoid hospital mistakes.
Kathie Lee & Hoda: No Surgeries In July Or On Weekends
Diane Salvatore said if it is up to you, do not have surgery in July or on the weekends. She said there is a 10% spike in fatalities at teaching hospitals in July because that is when doctors-in-training begin their residencies. Salvatore said that weekends are bad because you have light staffing, doctors on call and you’re never going to get a lab result.
Kathie Lee & Hoda: Don’t Be First Surgery Of The Day
Dr. Tasneem Bhatia said that doctors get tired too, so don’t be the first surgery of the day or the last one of the day. For the first surgery, Dr. Bhatia said you still have lighter staffing, so more duties for the staff that is there and you have a higher chance for that human error piece.
Kathie Lee & Hoda: Shift Changes
Dr. Tasneem Bhatia said shift changes can work, because you have a fresh set of nurses and doctors to look at your care. The problem is in the hand-off, when one nurse hands it over to the new nurse and same for the doctors. Dr. Bhatia said to Introduce yourself and to make sure you know who your new nurse or doctor is. She said to review the current care and plan and request time to review your chart.
Kathie Lee & Hoda: Bring A Friend Or Relative
Diane Salvatore said to bring a friend or relative to help ask questions and sometimes it takes a prevention village. Salvatore said you are stressed and you are not your normal calm and charming self, so have friends and family at your bedside not only to answer doctor questions, but to be your eyes and ears and to be an advocate and you can return the favor to them.
Kathie Lee & Hoda: Have A Written Health Plan
Dr. Tasneem Bhatia said to have a written health plan, so they can know your medical history, your medications, your allergies without having to guess because it is a highly stressful situation.
Kathie Lee & Hoda: Avoid Germs
Diane Salvatore said to use a tissue on elevator buttons to avoid germs. Salvatore said to not be afraid of looking like the crazy germaphobe. Hospital settings are very dangerous in that aspect: 20 out of 40 ties on doctors are crawling with dangerous bugs and 20 out of 80 stethoscopes. Salvatore said to have the alcohol wipe at your side and ask them to use it and to ask everyone to wash their hands.