Monday, February 20, 2012

Checklists for Hospital ePatients

The Patients' Checklist is a valuable, user-friendly resource for people facing a hospitalization. Since we're all just one stroke of misfortune away from that fate, it's $11 well spent for anybody who can read and write English (and I bet translations would sell, too!)

"Wish I'd written this!"
The book represents yet another item on my personal list of "wish I'd done that!" Author Elizabeth Bailey's first career was more glamorous than mine; her schooling more prestigious and the medical errors her father suffered seem more egregious. Still, I can relate - and I bet you will, too.

If you've ever been in the hospital as an adult or watched over a hospitalized patient, you will recognize the wisdom of her advice. Checklists include but are not limited to:
  • Before You Go
  • What to Bring
  • Master Medication List
  • Doctor Contacts

Easy to read
The book design is thoughtful: spiral bound, so it will lie flat while you write. Tabbed, so you can find information quickly. I found the quotes and relevant data about healthcare inspirational, but it's not emphasized and would be unlikely to distract an active checklist user.

Building on this idea
My version of this guidebook would include more information about how to proactively affect the patient's health outcome. Protecting oneself from errors is the baseline; true wellness is my epatient goal. 

For example, a few pre-op hours spent in visualization can yield dramatic results. There is evidence that pre-operative preparation can yield positive outcomes for pain relief, decreased anxiety, and decreased length of stay in orthopedic patients.

The book is focused on hospitalization, but of course, most care is provided in outpatient settings. So the sequel should include checklists for patients in the community.

Some patients and their families will want an electronic version; one more easily shared across distances or dynamically updated. If you prefer electronic data management there are many mobile apps and software programs vying for your attention. 

Among the many helpful available online checklists and templates are
It's easier than ever to be an epatient! Following the advice in The Patient's Checklist and using the tools cited here can help improve the life and health of someone you love -- and unfortunately, failing to do so may leave you vulnerable to problems.


Nurse and Hospital Stories said...

Thanks for this. This is a worthy info and indeed may save lives of someone I know.

Thanks for the share,
Peny@lab coat

Elizabeth Bailey said...

Thanks, Eve, for such a nice review of my book The Patient's Checklist! My hope is that the book provides a user-friendly tool that can help patients and families begin to immediately organize and monitor the flood of information, treatments, medications and multiple care providers that are the reality of any hospitalization today.

No one is ever prepared for a hospitalization but beyond coping with an illness or injury patients, already vulnerable, must also contend with an environment where their safety is at risk every day from preventable medical error.

Patients and their families can and must play an active role in managing and monitoring daily hospital care and partnering with their physicians and nurses. My hope is that this book provides a way to help them do that.

Many Thanks,
Elizabeth Bailey@PatientPOV