Follow-Ups… and Shocking articles!

July 30, 2009

So I have a variety of ideas that I want to post about, but I figured I would use today to bring some other information to the forefront and follow up with some articles that reinforce some of the previous posts…

First: Being an Informed Patient

So in previous posts, I’ve discussed the idea that patient involvement is essential to ensuring top quality in your medical endeavours and to safeguarding those that you care about. Most people take for granted the “would be magic” that takes place within the walls of a hospital. Hospitals have ground breaking technology and a world of extremely intelligent medical practitioners that have prepared for the various illnesses and issues that will arise. Even with all of their expertise, hospitals are still businesses and are still victim to the same issues that plague any business. The coordination of various parts, allocation of staff, allocation of funds, cleanliness, public relations, and of course customer error.  One way that you can safeguard against the last piece is to create your own family medical history.  Fortunately, for you and for me… US News and World Report has already written an article about how to put together a family medical history.
Creating your own Family Medical History. US News and World Report.  Think about it.. this could be fun… it’s like investigating your own family mystery… You can play Sherlock Holmes, or Nancy Drew if you desire… just guys be careful …wigs… they truly make the part.

Creating your own medical history will alleviate some issues when you are admitted to the hospital, plus it keeps a general record for your entire family and generations to come.

Another possibility is to research the hospital that you  may choose to go to.  Consumer Reports recently discussed this very idea in their September 2009 installment.  They stated that, “fifty-nine percent of patients in [their]survey did not enter the hospital through the emergency room, so they  might have had a choice of which hsopital to go to.”  Therefore, one thing you should consider is quality of care that exists within the hospitals around you.  Consumer Reports later goes on to provide a list of links to aid in the research of various hospitals.  I will provide those here for you:

  Agency for Healthcare Research and Quality

Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services

Commonwealth Fund – contains free performance data on hospitals nationwide from a private foundation.

Consumer Reports Health

The Joint Commission – Free nonprofit group that inspects and accredits most U.S. hospitals.

Leapfrog Group – A nonprofit employer-advocacy group on overall patient safety and safety of selected procedures, based on a voluntary annual survey of acute care hospitals.

US News and World Report

Second: There are some new updates for those of us attempting to avoid cancer:

1.) For those of you who like to use tanning beds …Tanning beds = Confirmed leads to cancer. This is an article from Yahoo, but reported by the Associated Press. Thanks to @LIVESTRONGCEO from bringing this one up…

2.) For those of you who are a fan of Oral Sex.  Unprotected Oral Sex may increase your chances of neck and head cancers. This article comes from medicinenet.com, which is owned and operated by WebMD.  Thanks to @stupidcancer for this one…

3.) Latest reports from the National Cancer Institute

4.) Some specifics about a variety of different types of cancer from US News and World Report

5.) Here’s a side effect of Chemotherapy as reported by the New York Times.

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2 Responses to “Follow-Ups… and Shocking articles!”

  1. gameoncancer Says:

    Comments from Pam (I copied them over): Good points…….being your own healthcare advocate is the most essential thing of all. Working in the healthcare field really opened my eyes to this, and it’s not necessarily b/c of the healthcare professionals involved but often b/c the patients don’t tell you everything that is going on, are poor historians, or simply can’t articulate to the docs/staff what they should be saying. We’ll have some good chats over this I’m sure. 🙂

  2. gameoncancer Says:

    Comments from Andrea: I will definitely check out the hospital info. Thanks! I’m big on being an informed patient. My mom though, not so much. AND, she told me I couldn’t go to her appt. with the surgeon b/c she doesn’t want me “interrogating her doctor!” UGH!


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