Doctor’s in the House: Tips on Staying Safe in the Hospital

Print More

Dr. Roger Resar

Dr. Roger Resar series on Medical Errors in NH Hospitals

Part 1: Serious Medical Errors Plague NH Hospitals
Part 2: Disagreement On How To Stop Serious, Preventable Medical Errors in NH Hospitals
Part 3a: Doctor’s in the House: Tips on Staying Safe in the Hospital
Part 3b: How To Become Your Own Patient Safety Advocate in NH
Part 3c:
Telling Noah’s Story to Stop Medical Errors in NH Hospitals

Dr. Roger Resar offered the following tips to staying safe while in the hospital. Resar is a senior fellow at the Institute for Health Improvement and assistant professor at the Mayo Clinic School of Medicine. For 30 years, he was a pulmonologist and critical care physician. He practices ambulatory care medicine on a part-time basis and has led national efforts on the use of the IHI Global Trigger Tool to measure adverse events. And he is learning to fly.

How to Stay Safe in the Hospital

1.-Know the medications you’re taking both at home and when admitted to the hospital. If a new medicine is being administered and your doctor has not told you about it, ask questions.
2-If someone close to me is in the hospital, I would be there as much as I could to ask questions about every new medication, procedure, etc.
3-If a physician refuses to answer the questions in a way that puts you at the center of care, go somewhere else or get a different physician.
4-Do not hesitate to ask for second opinions or consultations with experts in the field.
5-Carefully question the use of sedatives and pain medications.
6-Do not push physicians to use antibiotics, but rather ask what the cultures show.
7-Monitor and make sure hand-washing occurs before any caregiver touches you.
8-Avoid hospitalization ( I know this sounds simple, but if you are not hospitalized it is hard to have an adverse event). Ask about alternatives.
9-Avoid having major surgical procedures on Friday as a call team not familiar with you might be providing your care over the weekend.
10-If the hospital you are going to is not publicly showing infection rates, falls, etc., avoid that hospital.