Sunday, July 12, 2009

Here it is again – July. According to the best selling book “You the Smart Patient” by Michael F. Roizen MD and Mehemet C. Oz, best known for his appearances on Oprah, midsummer is the worst time to check into a hospital. July is when hospitals are “crawling with newbies” and the least experienced physicians. We should “give them a few months to break in” the book tells us. Gee, thanks for the warning us (on page 33 last paragraph)

Any wonder we celebrate Patient Safety Day in July? July 25th patient safety advocates throughout the country and around the world are connected by a few moments of silence at 6:00 PM. We remember those who have lost their life because of their medical care or their life has been changed forever – the survivors as I like to call them.

Although I don’t want to fear for those poor souls who must use the hospital system in July and August, I do know of many deaths which resulted in medical injury. I am saddened each year around this time even though it doesn’t coincide with my own, personal loss. Unfortunately, there seems to be very little we can do about this except be sure the patients, or potential patients know about this dangerous time to be hospitalized.

I am often saddened by the knowledge that is not being shared that people are more likely to be injured or killed in July. (Not my information, read my friend and colleagues blog) Patient Empowerment Blog . You can’t make this stuff up.

Seems simple enough to fix – no? Last year we held an emotionally charged event on Patient Safety Day; A tribute to the lives lost and changed forever. This year I will be heading back from California on July 25th where I start my patient safety fellowship. But you can rest assured I will be thinking, at 6:00 PM about those who could not be with us today.

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