Friday, January 18, 2008

What's a Patient To Do?

I wonder what our "rights" are as patients when I read again about another Long Island doctor who reused syringes and had to notify patients about his poor infection control practices.,0,1907627.story

In this case, the report is informing the public about the doctor's unprofessional practices when it comes to infection control.

So, what's a patient to do? Tell your doctor(s) to wash their hands? Well obviously it wouldn't have worked in this case. His hands may have been clean but guess what, there are plenty of other ways patients are at risk when it comes to the spread of infections.

Until patient education is taken seriously - before using the healthcare system, we, the public have no clue what we can be doing to get inolved in safe, quality care. I have been teaching patient safety for ten years and the syringe subject would have never come up. Still, I see no reports on what we should be doing to protect ourselves from reused syringes.

Reporting to the public is the medias job but we also must educate!

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