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Tom Sharon
How to compare acceptable and dangerous hospitals


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How to Find the Safest Hospital

For those of you who live in urban areas where there is more than one hospital to choose from, here is a list of what to look for when you engage in comparison "shopping." This is especially important if you move into a new area. You need to choose your hospital at least as carefully as you choose your schools and place of worship. They are not all the same.

Acceptable Hospital

Dangerous Hospital

Balanced budget

Cash-flow deficit

Good labor relations

Poor labor relations

All corridors clear

Equipment in corridors

Free of foul odors

Odor of human excrement coming from rooms

Care plan conferences include patient or family

Care plan conferences exclude patient or family

Operating room staffed twenty-four hours/day

Operating room closed at night with on-call staff

Nursing recruitment and retention program

No formal nursing recruitment and retention program

Staffing prescheduled with adequate numbers

Supervisors scramble desperately to find nurses

Zero tolerance for patient trauma

Some trauma seen as "unavoidable"

Patient satisfaction survey forms provided

No expression of interest in patient satisfaction

For those of you who live in less populated areas where there is only one hospital within a reasonable distance, you should make your inquiry to know your hospital's shortcomings so you can protect yourself and your family. In the succeeding chapters, you will learn how to do just that.

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· 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
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· 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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