Following a few simple steps can lower hospital costs, reduce health complications, and prevent medical emergencies that may be fatal.
Getting Out of the Hospital Alive
Good medical care is essential for good health. Choosing the right hospital and doctor can have a big impact on the outcome of a person’s overall health and well-being. Although medical insurance plans may dictate the choice of hospitals and doctors, a patient can still take necessary precautions to ensure their best medical care.
When selecting a hospital or doctor, patients should look for established credentials, professional licensed staff, clean facilities, and medical care that meets their immediate and future health needs.
Choose a Teaching Hospital
When surgery is needed, choosing a teaching hospital creates better odds for a good outcome. Teaching hospitals usually stay at the forefront of health research and surgical procedures. With medical specialists, residents, and medical students on board, teaching hospitals have fewer complications and better patient outcomes, especially for complex procedures.
Beware of Free-Standing ERs
Free-standing ERs have become common, but they lack the professional resources of hospital ERs. They’re equipped to handle minor injuries, colds and flu, and small bumps and bruises, but not life-threatening infections, broken bones, heart attacks, and head trauma. For major health problems, it’s best to get to a hospital where qualified surgeons and specialists are on staff.
Patients are advised to check their doctors’ credentials to make sure the doctor is board certified in the area of medicine needed.Websites like Healthgrades.com and ZocDoc show important information on a doctor’s credentials, areas of practice, and insurance accepted. Patients can also check the American Board of Medical Specialties by inputting a doctor’s name.
Many hospitals are understaffed, so nurses are forced to handle an overload of patients. The only state with mandatory hospital nurse-patient staffing ratios is California. Health studies show that patients in hospitals with a nursing shortage are seven percent more likely to die than patients in hospitals with adequate nurse-patient ratios. Medical malpractice lawyers see many medical errors caused by under-staffing.
Clean, Sanitary Facilities
Hospitals and doctors’ offices are breeding grounds for all types of germs, viruses, and bacteria. Choosing a facility with clean, sanitary conditions will minimize potential health problems from infections and contagious medical conditions.