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Book details
  • SubGenre:Health Care Issues
  • Language:English
  • Pages:148
  • eBook ISBN:9781626755413

3 (Three) Secrets Hospitals Don't Want You To Know

How To Empower Patients

by Mark E. Meaney Ph.D.

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Dr. Meaney's book is the first guidebook for patient/families on how to navigate the chaotic environment of health care delivery in a hospital setting from the hospital bedside. It provides patients and their advocates with concrete strategies on how to clear up problems of communication among providers and between the healthcare "team" and patient/advocate, mediate and resolve conflict among providers and between the healthcare "team" and patient/advocate, and deal with medical error without necessarily resorting to lawyers. Paradoxically, the success of medicine in the application of science to medicine has led to the widespread violation of the most fundamental right of patients/advocates, the right to informed consent. Stated in technical terms, component management (a specialist for every organ) leads to episodic intervention in hospital care, wherein if something happens to an organ, the patient sees a doctor (specialist) for that organ system; if something happens to another organ, the patient sees another specialist or sub-specialist for that organ system, and so on. Episodic intervention leads to a fragmentation of care lacking in continuity for the patient/family. A fragmentation of care invariably causes a breakdown in communication or a failure to communicate. Miscommunication or a failure to communicate leads to unnecessary conflict among physicians (specialists) and between the healthcare "team" and patient/family. It is also the primary cause of medical error. From the vantage point of patient rights, a failure to communicate results in the violation of the right to informed consent. With multiple diagnoses from multiple specialists, patients/families/advocates are unable to make an informed choice about appropriate treatment options. This a guidebook written from the point of view of the patient on how to solve the problems associated with component management and episodic intervention in getting the care patients deserve when they need it.
If you are like most people, entering a hospital is a lot like entering hostile, foreign territory. The surroundings are unfamiliar, everyone speaks a different tongue, and the natives are suspicious of strangers. If you are unfortunate to have to go there, the inhabitants sometimes either ignore you or treat you with complete indifference. If they make an effort to communicate, they talk to you like a child. If you ask for directions, they sometimes give you an answer even though they really don’t know the answer. In this foreign territory, when you need help, you have a heck of a time figuring out who’s in charge. Who can guide you? Who can translate? Who can communicate on your behalf? If something goes wrong, who will be there to look out for your best interests? Hospitals don’t like to admit it and try to hide it, but anyone who has spent any time recently in a hospital knows the open secret of patient care: healthcare delivery is broken at the hospital bedside. Miscommunication is widespread, conflicts abound, and mistakes are common. Even if five specialists are on your healthcare “team,” you may still have no idea what’s going on! This is a guidebook to the foreign territory of contemporary healthcare delivery at the hospital bedside. I will be your guide. I translate the native tongue into a language you can understand and you will discover who among the inhabitants is really in charge of your care. You will learn who you can trust to communicate on your behalf and SAVE YOU MONEY. Most important, you will find out who will look after your best interests if something should go wrong. You will learn how to solve problems without relying on lawyers. Contemporary health care suffers from an decided lack of coordination and cooperation among healthcare professionals. With no one to treat the entire patient and coordinate care, patients and their families are often left to integrate their own care. This can cost you a lot of time and a lot of money. You are largely left on your own to somehow piece together bits of information from different specialists and sub-specialists on various organ systems in an attempt to get a more or less complete picture of the progress of the whole patient. This can be very difficult to do in a hospital and extremely frustrating. I have repeatedly seen family members break down, not for fear of the health of a loved one, but because of miscommunication and unnecessary conflict between team and patient. Thankfully, I have an easy-to-execute plan to help you save money, clear up problems of miscommunication, mediate and resolve conflicts, and deal with medical mistakes without having to rely on lawyers. You can fight for your rights and yet maintain good relations with your healthcare providers. Learn how to protect yourself from a violation of patient rights. Through my easy-to-execute plan, you can build your very own in-hospital network of relationships with people who will get you the care you deserve when you need it. They will act as your intermediaries. You won’t even have to leave the hospital bedside! Simply pick up the hospital phone at the bedside and dial the hospital operator to create your own in-hospital network of support. It’s that easy! I show you how.
About the author
Dr Mark E. Meaney is a health care ethicist whose work has focused on both the clinical and organizational sides of health care, particularly on Advance Care Planning, vulnerable populations, organizational ethics and corporate compliance, morally managing medical error, medical information privacy and research ethics. Before founding the National Institute for Patient Rights, Dr. Meaney taught clinical ethics, bioethics and nursing ethics at a number of universities including Penn State University, Thomas Jefferson University and the University of Arkansas for Medical Sciences. Dr. Meaney has served as Vice President of Programs and Publications at the Midwest Bioethics Center (aka the Center for Practical Bioethics), Kansas City, MO. He has also served as the Director, Center for Ethics in Health Care and System Director of Ethics at St. Joseph's Health System, a internationally renowned cardiac care health system in Atlanta, GA.