What Your Local Hospital is Hoping You Won't Discover
July 24, 2010
Mainstreet.com offers a few essential facts about hospitals that you should know before you check in:
Stay Healthy in July
July is the most dangerous month to visit a hospital. That's the month when students graduate from medical school and start doing residencies at teaching hospitals. Deaths due to hospital medication errors spike by 10 percent in July.
Hospital Wait Times
Hospitals have terrible wait times, which may actually be endangering patients. Patients who need to be seen within 14 minutes of arriving ended up having to wait more than twice as long.
The Rise of Bedsores
In recent years, the number of hospital patients suffering from bedsores has increased significantly. In order to prevent them, ask your doctor or whoever is accompanying you to make sure that you change positions every couple hours, keep your skin clean and prop yourself up with pillows to relieve the pressure.
Risk of Infections
There are 1.7 million cases of hospital infections every year, and 99,000 deaths that are related to these infections.
Medical Identity Theft
To date, 1.5 million Americans have had their personal information stolen so that someone else can use your health care to cover their costs. At the moment, hospitals are struggling to deal with this problem.
Bills May Be Negotiable
Most Americans have been the victim of hospital bill shock at one point or another, but it's important to remember that sometimes these bills are negotiable. Some hospitals have been known to drop the price by a third or more.
Hospitals Scan Your Credit Reports
Some hospitals have taken up the controversial practice of looking at patient credit scores, credit card limits and even 401(k) information. The issue has raised privacy concerns among consumer advocacy groups.
Get to Know Your Anesthesiologist
An inept anesthesiologist can cause serious harm to a patient, including death in the worst case scenario. It's best that you request to interview anesthesiologists before your procedure so that you can feel confident you're getting the best care.