"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
- Johns Hopkins' My Health Template
- the Medicare Discharge Planner
- American Cancer Society's Coping Checklist
- Talking to Your Doctor or Nurse from Consumers Advancing Patient Safety