Keeping yourself or elder family members safe and healthy during a hospital stay
Patient advocates agree preparation is the key. The time to make sure you or your aging parent has all of the necessary documentation for a hospital stay is before an ambulance arrives for an injury or worse. Be sure your parent has a fully written or typed medical history that you can hand to the emergency physician taking care of the case. It needs to include all medications, the names and contact information for your parent's primary doctor and any specialists being seen, any recent diagnostic tests that may have been done, and other relevant contact information.
Once you are in the hospital when things do not go as smooth as you would like as is often the case, yelling or being otherwise abusive to the nurse or other support staff is never a good idea. Nurses and other technicians are not responsible for bad food, non-working phones or TVs, excessive parking fees, etc. Ask to speak to the on-call administrator or supervisor of nursing and speak to him or her calmly and matter-of-factly about your problem.
"Healthcare is just beginning to realize how big a problem it has with patient safety. Albut Wu, professor of health policy management, Johns Hopkins University
Medication errors pose a key risk to hospitalized elderly patients, with one third of all hospital medication errors happening to this group, according to United States Pharmacopeia. And medication problems are only one of a series of problems your parent may face in the hospital. In recent Los Angeles Times interview Albert Wu, Professor of Health Policy and Management at Johns Hopkins University in Baltimore. Was quoted as saying, â€œHealthcare is just beginning to realize how big a problem it has with patient safety".
Finally, do not assume that your family doctor will be automatically contacted about your or your loved one's hospitalization. Contact the doctor directly.