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The Hospital Book

By Admin | June 13, 2012


Patients want and deserve safe and effective care. The Hospital Book: 100 Things You Need To Know To Make It Out Alive and Well will give readers the background knowledge and specific technical information (as opposed to general strategies) to help them recognize and avoid the clinical scenarios that lead to medical catastrophes. Written by two practicing physicians who have collaborated on three previous books on medical errors for professionals, The Hospital Book will explain clinical treatment protocols and “best practices” in simple, easy-to-understand language that patients can use to monitor their care and help avoid bad outcomes. It’s aim is to close the large information gap between medical providers and medical users.

In 1999, the Institute of Medicine, drawing on a large and well-known body of literature, issued a report estimating that the number of preventable hospital deaths in the United States at 100,000, with perhaps ten times the number of potentially life-altering preventable injuries. Subsequently over the last ten years, there was a burgeoning interest and intensive effort by insurers, hospitals, physicians, and patient advocates to reduce this shocking number by using a systems-based model to analyze the root causes of hospital errors. Modeled, in part, on the template provided by the safety science used in the airline industry, errors theory was discussed, errors types were categorized, and errors terminology was developed. Hospital safety officers were appointed, hospital safety campaigns intiated, and hospital safety systems developed.

None of it worked.

Distressingly, follow-up reports to the landmark 1999 study show that preventable death and serious injury occur with the same tragic frequency. There is now a growing realization that for all the discussion about the theory of medical errors and various root causes, there was very little attention given to what the actual specific errors were and how to avoid them. To remedy that, it is now understood that the key to reducing medical errors is to diagnose them in a specific and concrete way. To further that goal, patient safety guidelines have been developed by government health agencies and leading patient safety organizations that list specific, actionable items and recommendations to tell healthcare providers what the errors are and what exactly to do or not to do to avoid them.

Similar to these guidelines, the rationale behind The Hospital Book is the belief that reliable, safe, and error-free healthcare is an achievable goal if uniform and specific practices are adopted across the healthcare spectrum – and that knowledgable patients can and must contribute to this effort. After all, patients (and not doctors and nurses) have a personal stake in engaging in the outcomes. They must understand the stark reality that they are passengers on an airplane – but when and if it crashes, the pilot (doctor) never perishes.

To structure this information, this book will have 100 chapters grouped into seven sections. Each section will correspond to a care area of the hospital.

About the Authors

Market Analysis and Comparable Books

You: The Smart Patient: An Insider’s Handbook for Getting the Best Treatment, Michael F. Roizen and Mehmet C. Oz, Free Press, 2006, ISBN-10: 0743293010, ISBN-13: 978-0743293013, 432 pages, $14.95.

Wall of Silence: The Untold Story of the Medical Mistakes that Kill and Injure Millions of Americans, Rosemary Gibson and Janardan Prasad Singh, LifeLine Press, 2003, ISBN-10: 089526112X, ISBN-13: 978-0895261120, 256 pages, $24.95.

Internal Bleeding: The Truth Behind America’s Terrifying Epidemic of Medical Mistakes, Robert M. Wachter, MD and Kaveh Shojania, MD, Rugged Land, 2005, ISBN-10: 1590710738, ISBN-13: 978-1590710739, 460 pages, $26.95.

Understanding Patient Safety (Lange Clinical Medicine), Robert M. Wachter, MD, McGraw-Hill Professional, 2007, ISBN-10: 0071482776, ISBN-13: 978-0071482776, 240 pages, $36.95.

Critical Conditions: The Essential Hospital Guide to Get Your Loved One Out Alive, Martine Ehrenclou, Lemon Grove Press, LLC, 2008, ISBN-10: 0981524001, ISBN-13: 978-0981524009, 248 pages, $19.95.

The Empowered Patient: Hundreds of Life-Saving Facts, Action Steps and Strategies You Need to Know, Julia A. Hallisy, Bold Spirit Press, 2007, ISBN-10: 0615177913, ISBN-13: 978-0615177915, 351 pages, $25.95.

Hospital Stay Handbook: A Guide to Becoming a Patient Advocate for Your Loved Ones, Jari Holland Buck, Llewellyn Publications, 2007, ISBN-10: 0738712248, ISBN-13: 978-0738712246, 264 pages, $17.95.

How to Get Out of the Hospital Alive: A Guide to Patient Power, Sheldon P Blau, Elaine Fantle Shimberg, Wiley, 1998, ISBN-10: 0028623630, ISBN-13: 978-0028623634, 256 pages, $14.95.

The Savy Patient: How to Get the Best Health Care, Mark Pettus, Capital Books, 2004, ISBN-10: 1931868808, ISBN-13: 978-1931868808, 288 pages, $19.95.

Table of Contents

Section 1: Before Being Admitted To The Hospital

Chapter xx: Finding the Best Doctor
Chapter xx: Getting Ready to be Admitted
Chapter xx: Trauma Injuries Go To Trauma Hospitals
Chapter xx: Emergency Problems Require Emergency Transport
Chapter xx: Think Hard About Being a DNR
Chapter xx: Tell Your Surgeon Every Drug and Supplement You Take and Follow Instructions Carefully
Chapter xx: Stop Smoking (and if you still are, don’t lie about it)
Chapter xx: Changes in the culture of care

Section 2: The Emergency Department

Chapter xx: Don’t be talked out of an MI
Chapter xx: Not all MI’s are the same: STEMI’s and NSTEMI’s

Section 3: The Operating Room and Post-Anesthesia Care Unit (PACU)

Chapter xx: Do Not Become a Marketing Prop
Chapter xx: Do Not Mark Your Surgical Site
Chapter xx: You Are Not the Coach (You Don’t Decide Who Plays)
Chapter xx: Ask For Two Intravenous Lines
Chapter xx: Remind Your Surgeon to Check for a Type and Screen or Type and Cross
Chapter xx: Know the correct Sequence for Using Sequential Compression Devices
Chapter xx: Music for Your Ears; Medicine for Your Health
Chapter xx: Ask about Sepra film in abdominal surgery
Chapter xx: Sleep apnea is serious

Section 4: The Intensive Care Unit

Chapter xx: The kidney is king!!
Chapter xx: Be skeptical about the use of paralytics
Chapter xx: Antibiotics need to be started within one hour
Chapter xx: Ask for Licox monitoring in brain trauma
Chapter xx: Sedation: The siren song of the units
Chapter xx: Ask about cardioversion for atrial fibrillation
Chapter xx: Beta blockers by morning
Chapter xx: Benzodiazepines must be restarted
Chapter xx: The Clinical Pharmacist: Your New Best Friend
Chapter xx: Head of the Bed at Thirty Degrees
Chapter xx: Hardnosed About Handwashing
Chapter xx: Creatinine is Critical
Chapter xx: Lactate Must Be Low
Chapter xx: No Blood Draws Through Central Lines
Chapter xx: Nutrition is Needed
Chapter xx: Pancreatitis is dangerous
Chapter xx: Fentanyl is fabulous
Chapter xx: Glucose control is good

Section 5: The Floors

Chapter xx: Get The Nurses on Your Side
Chapter xx: Two Sticks Max
Chapter xx: Get Out of Bed
Chapter xx: Don’t Take Your Collar Off
Chapter xx: When to Worry About Your Surgical Wound
Chapter xx: Incentives for Incentive Spirometry
Chapter xx: Stomach Contents Go Through A Nasogastric Tube (Not Around It!)
Chapter xx: Do not Lobby To Keep Your Foley Catheter
Chapter xx: Code Brown (Clostridium difficile)
Chapter xx: Orthopedic doctors are great with with bones but….

Section 6: Labor and Delivery


Chapter Summaries

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