You go to for an appointment, see the nurse first to go over medications, get weighed, maybe get some tests, and the results, finally see the doctor and then there's a follow up where you start all over again and maybe throw in a medical misadventure or two. Repeat over and over again. At each stage of your visits, you get weighed, vital signed, medication list reviewed, and talk to numerous people, repeating the same information ad naseum.
Most of the time every thing goes okay. Sometimes it doesn't. And who's fault is it? The question should be asked. And also how is it going to be fixed. This is the main concern. How will the hospital fix this so it doesn't happen again? As patients, usually we will never know. We just assume someone at the hospital will say 'we need to fix this'.
But now at Brigham & Women's Hospital in Boston, they had decided in the interest of full transparency, they provide a blog on their Safety Matters. Previously a PDF, it became a blog last year and now is available online to all. It discusses a recent safety issue and then reviews what is being done to correct the situation. In January's issue, for example, a patient was given the wrong dose of a medication. It goes through what happened, how did it go wrong and how it was fixed.
What I find most interesting is that it shows the entire process, how it works, and what went wrong. What surprised me is that how many times the patient gave the information and it was never verified. What would it take for just one person to verify the information? Seriously.
I know sometimes when I go to for an appointment, I feel I get rushed by the nurses and not as much care is given to review information - when the nurse asks me what I weigh instead of weighing me on the scale next to her or when they never even look at my amended medication list.
I do know that now that I have read several issues of Safety Matters, I will start doing more of my part to make sure I bring all my information with me to visits. And no I will not switch to BWH just because of their blog.