Posted by: Jacqueline O'Doherty | July 19, 2010

Hospitals in July

It’s July and everyone is buzzing about hospital safety! Well they are right; it’s not simply an urban legend! July really is the worse time of year to end up in the hospital and/or the ER. It’s a time of change with new interns and residences coming in and starting work in an already chaotic atmosphere.

Here’s an example that happened to me last week. I ended up in the ER with an elderly client. We went through his medical history and shared the fact that he was allergic to penicillin. The admitting nurse noted the allergy in his chart and then proceeded to put a big red bracelet that said allergies in bold letters on his wrist. I thought it was noticeable, the patient thought it was noticeable, but apparently  the doc?  To him, not so noticable. He must have missed it in the chart as well! Long story short, the nurse comes in with the IV antibiotic and I remind her he is allergic to penicillin. In her surprise she responded “how allergic?” After I picked my jaw up from the floor, I told the nurse that today wasn’t the day we were going to find out. They ALL missed the bracelet. The bracelet with BIG BOLD LETTERS! Always ask always question, NEVER navigate the health care system alone!

For more information about patient safety in July click over to Trisha Torrey’s MSNBC interview yesterday.    ctrl+click to follow link.


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