A couple of weeks ago, I ran across a class on how to survive a hospital visit being held by OLLI at Granite State College so I decided to attend and see what it was all about. The class was conducted by John Werner. John has over 35 years in organizational improvement for industries including pharmaceuticals, hospitals and health care delivery providers and served as a Baldridge Award Examiner.
Stats taken from Death by Medicine:
- 783,936 deaths each year caused by conventional medicine
- 2.2 million people per year are having in-hospital, adverse reactions to prescribed drugs
- 20 million unnecessary antibiotics are prescribed annually for viral infections
- 7.5 million unnecessary medical and surgical procedures are performed each year
- 8.9 million people per year are hospitalized unnecessarily
Did you know:
- US ranks 11 of the top 11 industrialized countries on health care, quality and access. US is last, and the UK is number 1.
- US may be last, but it is the most expensive. We spend the most money to get the worst medical care.
- Top 1% of 825,000 individual medical providers account for 14% of $77B in medicare billing in 2015
- 40,000 people die each year after suffering medical errors in hospitals
- hospital errors are the third leading cause of death in the US
- Medical errors account for more than half of the deaths for all reasons in the US each year
- Hospital infections kill 75,000 patients each year
- Should hospitals have signs in their lobby and on website stating death rate due to errors?
- How many germs are transferred through the use of smart phones by the various providers as that phone moves from place to place in the hospital with its owner?
- Get a second opinion if you have any issues with initial diagnosis
- Do your homework before you go
- Experience in your specific surgery counts. How many have they done? What is the success rate? What are the chances for infection? What are the odds of dying?
- Check out the safety and quality information on your hospital’s website (labeling for instance: right patient, right surgery, right body part, right blood type, right allergy information)
- Take an advocate (family member or friend) with you
- Don’t let anyone touch you unless you watched them wash their hands or use hand sanitizer
Recommended reading: Being Mortal
If you want a copy of his slides which are in PDF format, drop me an email and I’ll send them to you.
I could pontificate here and bring the word count up, but I think you get the depressing picture,
We really need to pay attention because no one is going to protect us from these problems except us. Stand up, speak out, ask questions and don’t worry about whether they like it or not.
Now, I’ve got to grab some chocolate after going over this again. It’s too early for wine and I’ve got to go shovel snow – two small snow storms in two days. 🙂