While patients think of a hospital as a place they come to get well, doctors, nurses, and administrators know that a hospital is a place where patients can get very sick. One patient safety advocate says that in a typical ICU, a patient is at risk of more than a dozen harms. Especially concerning is the rate of nosocomial infections-infections that come from the hospital setting.
What’s worse is many hospital employees are afraid to reveal the danger of infections and other patient harms even to each other, as reported by US News & World Report. There exists a culture of fear that reporting a dangerous situation could lead to discipline, license revocation, or even just damage to a professional reputation. That report is: here.
A minimum standard of care in every hospital would curb hospital infections and other risks. More staff to catch mistakes before they happen; more staff to monitor patients for ulcers, infections, and falls; and more staff to report problems that are systemic failures.
While some hospitals cut corners to curb costs, medical mistakes and negative patient outcomes end up costing more. More for the patient; more for the hospital; more for the bill-payers.