Safety and Success with Hospital Visits

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Dr. David Matheson, MD, FRCPC, Retired Physician, discusses safety and success with hospital visits.
Dr. David Matheson, MD, FRCPC, Retired Physician, discusses safety and success with hospital visits.
Video transcript

Featuring Dr. David Matheson, MD, FRCPC, Retired Physician
,Safety and Success with Hospital Visits

Duration: 2 minutes, 54 seconds       

Now I think the most important thing to remember is that when you are sick, you do need some help.

But on the other hand, there are things that you can do to try to make sure that you are as knowledgeable and as aware of things that you can be. Anything that you can do throughout your life to try and minimize your likelihood of having to go to the hospital, fine, that's good.

But, if you do have to go, there's a few things. You should probably have somebody with you. That's not a bad idea. You can hear different things from different people and you want to make sure that you're understanding what's going on. You ask questions to make sure that you are knowledgeable about what's going on within the hospital setting.

You do simple things like wash your hands or ask other people to wash their hands because unfortunately, there are bacteria that are in hospitals that can cause infections and you don't want to necessarily pick them up. They can be quite aggressive. So there are some things you can do.

What I want to make clear is that everybody wants to do the best they can, the physicians, the nurses, the physiotherapists, everybody who works in the healthcare system is really committed to try and do the best that they can. Sometimes accidents happen. We are humans. All of us are human. We do make accidents.

The healthcare system is set up with many, many barriers to try and make sure that these accidents don't come all the way through to the patient and actually have some impact on the patient.

But, it's sort of like Swiss cheese. Many, many layers of Swiss cheese, every once in a while the holes will line up and something will go through and something bad does happen.

The healthcare system, I think, has over the years been very responsive to try to not only minimize adverse events but philosophically, importantly, have said we need to understand these. There's a lot of work going on in patient safety. There's a lot of efforts to try and better understand what makes patients safe in hospital, which provides good quality in care.

And there's even the component of disclosure – the hospitals now, physicians, nursing staff are very anxious to tell you openly and honestly what happened that didn't go quite right. So, if there are any concerns that you have about your treatment, you can say so.

Were there any things that didn't happen quite the way you would have liked to have them happen?  And I'm sure the physicians and nurses that you work with will be glad to answer that sort of question. They're trained to do that now. That is very much what is expected.

hospital safety standards
hospital safety score website

Presenter: Dr. David Matheson, Pediatrician, Vancouver, BC

Local Practitioners: Pediatrician

This content is for informational purposes only, and is not intended to be a substitute for professional medical advice, diagnosis or treatment. Always seek the advice of your physician or other qualified healthcare professional with any questions you may have regarding a medical condition.

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