This Patient Safety Awareness Week, let's be more than aware -- let's be vocal about the change we'd like to see. Consumers entrust their lives to the health care industry. The stakes couldn't be higher for our families, and we are entitled to know how the system really works.
I wish I could say I learned the lesson about the necessity for patients to be assertive from my career as a hospital CEO, but I actually learned it from my wife Elizabeth the day she gave birth to our first daughter.
It's time we applied such common sense to healthcare spending, and a much-discussed new book does just that: Cracking Health Costs: How to Cut Your Company's Costs and Provide Employees Better Care, by Tom Emerick and Al Lewis.
By and large, doctors and nurses are well-meaning, and most of the time, the system is working well and you will get good care. However, mistakes do happen. Follow the tips above to make sure that you are safe and well during every hospital stay.
Hospitals have recognized these medical errors as a significant problem, and they are taking steps -- such as hand hygiene compliance and surgical checklists -- to make care safer. But if you or your loved one needs medical care now, be on the lookout for these errors.