Having been an Attending physician for the last several years and practiced medicine up and down the east coast, I’ve witnessed firsthand the daily challenges we face in healthcare, which are surprisingly the same in every hospital I’ve ever worked in. Seeing these issues and feeling passionately about them led me to develop a strong interest in how we can raise the standard of hospital care for our patients and give them a better healthcare experience—at what is, after all, a terribly low point in their lives. Some of the problems that I believe are universal across healthcare (I will list these from admission to discharge) include:
- A rushed environment in the Emergency Room meaning that patients are often confused about the initial diagnosis and treatment strategy
- Confusion over what the patient’s exact home medication list is (what we call “medication reconciliation” in medical circles)
- Doctors and nurses not spending enough time with patients and their families, to answer all their questions and address any concerns
- Patients not moving around and mobilizing enough during their recovery period, being served less than optimal food, and not having a restful environment to get plenty of sleep
- Lack of co-ordination among different doctors who are seeing the patient and a feeling of “too many cooks in the kitchen”, without a single unified message
- The discharge process being too rushed and haphazard
- Unclear follow-up plans
Understanding all of these recurring issues and seeing the daily frustration and disappointment that they cause to patients and their families, led to me writing The Ultimate Patient Advocate in Your Pocket, by MangoWell publishing. It’s a short, simple and effective pocketbook that talks the reader through the whole process of a hospital admission, and is designed for patients and their families who are navigating the maze of this confusing time. You will be given information about how the hospital process works and the knowledge that all patients and families need. It answers common questions and provides examples of the most frequent pitfalls of being in hospital. Use the checklists and dedicated areas for writing to make sure you’re asking the right questions and staying informed of everything.
I believe that this patient-centered guide can help everyone at some point in their lives when they or a loved one are admitted to hospital. Our patients deserve better and there’s so much work to do to give them a better healthcare experience. Please click below to learn more and get print copies or a PDF download.
Suneel Dhand is a physician, author, speaker and healthcare consultant. He has experience in a number of different healthcare environments, having worked up and down the East coast and also internationally. His specialty areas include hospital QI, improving the patient experience, and optimizing healthcare IT. He is the Founder & Director of MangoWell, an organization and consulting service that helps hospitals and healthcare professionals improve the quality of hospital care. MangoWell’s most recent publication, “The Ultimate Patient Advocate in Your Pocket”, is designed to help hospitalized patients.
Also follow Suneel’s blog at: www.HealthcareImprove.com