Stay Safe in a Hospital

A Patient’s Guide: How to Stay Safe in a Hospital | NationofChange
February 6, 2013HEALTH_PT-CENTERED

Propping up a patient’s hospital bed at a 30-degree angle can help prevent hospital-acquired pneumonia. Using alcohol wipes killsstaph bugs, but you need bleach wipes to kill C. diff germs. High-protein snacks canhelp prevent bed sores.

However, most patients don’t know these things. And doctors and nurses can easily overlook these basic care practices.

Karen Curtiss makes it her mission to remind them. After her father and husband both experienced adverse events in the hospital, Curtiss says, she founded Campaign Zero to arm patients with the information they need for a safe stay. Her book, “Safe & Sound in the Hospital: Must-Have Checklists and Tools for Your Loved One’s Care,” collects scores of these simple actions and details that can make a big difference in a patient’s recovery.

Checklists have become more common for surgeons in the operating room. But according to Curtiss, she’s the only one producing checklists on hospital care for patients and families.

To make the checklists, Curtiss read everything she could get her hands on: nursing textbooks, information from the CDC, academic publications. She took her work to specialists and focus groups. And then distilled all of the information into something so simple a sixth-grader could read it.

We sat down with Curtiss, who is a member of ProPublica’s Patient Harm Community, to find out more about patient-centered checklists. (Read Full Article)

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