Be a Smarter Patient: Tips for a Healthy Hospital Stay
Hospital stays can be stressful to say the least. You don’t feel well, you’re away from the comfort of your own home and your diagnosis may include words that are way over your head. Whether you are the patient or the caretaker, here are four tips to help you have a smarter hospital stay.
Do your homework.
If you are scheduling your stay, be sure to check out hospital reviews before deciding which one to use. Finding a facility that has great doctors, nurses and infection control practices is key to making your time in the hospital quick and comfortable. Use Medicare’s hospital compare website to see how well the ones in your area rank in patient experiences, payment and value of care, complications, and infection prevention and control.
Bring all medications with you.
Before heading out the door, grab all the medicine that you take routinely. It’s vital to not only bring those medications that are prescribed to you but also the over-the-counter remedies you rely on, as well. No matter if your time in the hospital is planned or unexpected, being honest and thorough with your doctor about what you put into your body will help he or she treat you to the best of their ability, limiting the amount of potential complications that could arise.
Understand your diagnosis, the prescribed treatment and the risks associated.
Don’t be afraid to ask questions! And, don’t hesitate to write them down on a notepad so you won’t forget any. This is especially important if your care requires any surgical intervention. Understanding the risk of infection post-surgery is very important. Knowing what you can do, in addition to health care staff, to prevent contracting a hospital-acquired infection can save your life. Referring to this simple one-sheet patient’s guide to preventing surgical site infections authored by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention is a good way to prevent infection in pre- and post- operation settings.
Protect against infection.
Chances are you’re going to have visitors venture into your room during your hospital stay. It’s very important to remember to wipe down door handles, remote controls and phones on a regular basis. All hospitals follow CDC cleaning protocols, of course, but you should also inquire with your nurse or physician about how often your room is being cleaned and what it’s being cleaned with. Some hospitals are stepping up their efforts with additional infection prevention technologies such as Tru-D Smart UVC to ensure greater patient and staff safety.
Have any more tips for making hospital stays easier? Let us know in the comments section below!