Sen. Charles E. Schumer (D-NY) is introducing a bill to change Medicare law so that elderly patients are not charged unfairly...Read more
Three Guides to Surviving a Hospital Stay
- May 8th, 2006
We go to hospitals because we're sick and want to get better, but these days hospitals can make us sicker, or worse. Nursing and other staff shortages, created in large part by stingy reimbursements from managed care, Medicare and Medicaid, mean that patient care can range from spotty to neglectful to life-threatening. According to a 1999 Harvard study, hospitals kill nearly 100,000 people a year because of human or mechanical error.
Increasingly, it's becoming the responsibility of the patient or his or her family and friends to zealously advocate for good care. Responding to this new reality, three new books '“ all by medical professionals '“ offer inside tips on how to not only survive a hospital stay but to come home healthier than when you went in. (Imagine that!)
Dr. Joseph Sacco, author of "Health Smart Hospital Handbook" (Alpha Books, 2003. Price: $1.10 (used) from Amazon.com -- click on book to order.) is a medical director at New York City's Bronx-Lebanon Hospital Center. He presents an insider's view of a hospital's workings and how to negotiate the hospital bureaucracy and work with doctors and staff. Dr. Sacco also offers a detailed primer on diseases; outlines the qualifications of various professionals; and describes tests, medicines and equipment. Sacco stresses that patients may have alternatives to a hospital stay. Doctors admit people for many reasons, he says, "not all of which have to do with the need to be in the hospital."
Thomas A. Sharon, author of "Protect Yourself in the Hospital" (McGraw-Hill, 2003. Price: $12.95 from Amazon.com -- click on book to order.) is a registered nurse and a legal consultant for malpractice cases. Sharon's guide offers "insider tips for avoiding hospital mistakes," including how to advocate for oneself or a loved one without alienating hospital staff, ways to prevent common conditions like bedsores and hospital-acquired infections, avoiding mishaps in intensive care units, and how to play the "emergency room waiting game." Sharon arms patients or their families with the knowledge to advocate effectively on their own or a love one's behalf.
Dr. David Sherer, author (with co-author Maryann Karinch) of "Dr. David Sherer's Hospital Survival Guide" (Claren Books, 2003. Price: $9.72 from Amazon.com -- click on book to order.) is an anesthesiologist. Dr. Sherer's contribution to navigating the hospital maze emphasizes surgical hospitalizations, and includes a chapter on what to expect and ask for in his own specialty. He notes that July, when the new interns start, is the most dangerous month to have a procedure done at a teaching hospital. He also presents proven tips for reducing hospital bills and offers a range of suggestions for making hospital stays safer and more pleasant. Sample tip: Request EMLA anesthetic cream to make I.V. starts less painful for children.
Local Elder Law Attorneys in Ashburn, VA
The Estate Planning & Elder Law Firm PC
Bill founded The Estate Planning & Elder Law Firm, P.C. in 1994. Bill limits his practice to the areas of estate planning and administration, incapacity planning, Medicaid, asset protection planning, and elder law. He is one of (15) fifteen attorneys practicing in Virginia, Maryland and the District of Columbia, ce...
Needham Mitnick & Pollack, PLC
Judith Mtinick is well known for acting as a guardian, conservator, trustee or agent on behalf of clients or by court appointment. This experience gives her a wide perspective and extensive practical knowledge that she uses when advising clients in drafting their planning documents. Her experience, as a court appointed...
Law Offices of John L. Laster
John Laster is a lawyer licensed to practice in Virginia, Maryland and the District of Columbia. He limits his practice to wealth transfer planning, trusts, wills, powers of attorney, health care decision-making issues, estate administration and related tax, elder law and disability concerns. Listed in The Best Lawyers...