Monday, July 14, 2008

Should We Use the Name of the Hospital?

I was recently asked the following question “I wonder why you don't mention the specific hospitals involved in these issues. Wouldn't that put appropriate pressure on them?”

I thought this blog would be an appropriate place to respond since it is a question that I am often asked. The simple answer is, because patient safety is not about one medical facility or medical professional. Patient safety is about the whole healthcare system.

To mention a hospital or doctor that was, or is considered the cause of a patient’s injury or death would be giving false hope to the other people who are still deciding on what doctor or hospital to use. By not using the doctor or hospital mentioned as being involved with a patient’s injury, does not mean an injury won’t happen. We are all at risk, at every facility we choose to use for our healthcare.

Infections are a problem at every facility and a medication overdose can happen anywhere. This is one reason I can’t see more patient safety initiatives being developed until the old ones are used. I also can’t understand why patients and their families are taught about patient safety advocacy on a regular basis to make sure the already available standards and initiatives are followed.

So, I don’t discount the people or the media who use the name of the facility where there was an injury, I just think the problem is bigger than that one story.

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