Tom Sharon
Regulatory agency surveys all member institutions


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Hospital standards

All acute care hospitals in the United States operate under a uniform set of standards promulgated by the Joint Commission on Accreditation of Healthcare Organizations (JCAHO). This private regulatory agency surveys all member institutions once every three years to see if they are meeting standards, including various protocols encompassing safety, comfort, education, and skill levels of caregivers.

The surveyors review every aspect of hospital management-for example, medicine, nursing, therapies, housekeeping, infection control, building maintenance engineering, and biomedical engineering. This process, briefly, is a major component of the "health-care system." The sad fact is that with 100,000 deaths and approximately 300,000 catastrophic injuries every year, the system is an abject failure in the context of providing safety, comfort, and dignity to its patrons. In order to understand why, we need to ask the question, "What's missing?" One answer is your participation.
Consequently, you must take your rightful position as the leader of your health-care team for either yourself or someone for whom you are making all health-related decisions. As team leader, you are in command. The tools you will need to make good decisions regarding safety, comfort, and dignity are contained in this book. We have started with the information required to tell whether a hospital is reasonably safe or downright dangerous.

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SECTION : Hospital

· Hospital mishaps
· Evaluating hospital safety
· Health-care consumer
· Trauma center
· Post surgical negligence
· Safest hospital
· Hospital's finances
· Hospital labor relations
· Hospital's corridors
· The Smell of the Place
· The health-care team
· Operating room staffing
· Nurse recruitment
· Safe staffing levels
· Patient trauma
· Satisfaction surveys
· Hospital standards
· Scoring hospital safety
· Emergency waiting game
· How triage works
· Fatal triage error
· Triage priority levels
· Emergency room waiting
· Safe emergency room
· Safe hospital floor
· Distance to the nurses
· Life-support equipment
· Handling nursing care
· An experienced nurse
· A skilled nurse
· The nurse's role
· The nurse as advocate
· Preventing falls/bedsores
· Identifying supervisors
· Nurse-to-patient ratio
· The attending physician
· Dangerous hospital floor
· Hospital trauma
· Risk of falling in hospitals
· "Mysterious" injuries
· A scared nurse's aide
· Case of possible homicide
· Staff avoiding blame
· Prevent falls and injuries
· Restraints
· Side rails
· Vest restraints
· Wrist restraints
· Leg restraints
· Restraints as a last resort
· Prevent falls in hospital

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