Patient safety is the most important aspect of any medical encounter. We expect world class care from our hospitals and doctors that hold themselves out as experts. What we often receive in terms of our healthcare is a far cry from what is advertised. If more money was spent on implementing and enforcing patient safety standards and less on advertising by the hospitals, we would all benefit. It is time that the cut-throat competition between hospital systems for our business stops and the importance of delivering world class medical care takes over. It is time that the interests of patients and not profits take center stage! Jurors see lawyer advertising and the general attitude is negative. The amount spent on lawyer advertising is minimal compared to the millions and millions spent by hospitals trying to convince you to place your trust and your life in their hands.
We all see billboards, company sponsorships, T.V. and radio advertising by the big hospital associations and no one thinks twice about the amount of money that is spent to increase the business of the hospitals. Yet, it should be obvious that they are putting profit before the interests of their patients by spending millions to hold themselves out to the public as the place to go for quality medical care!
Ask yourselves, how much is truly spent to improve the delivery of safe medical care; and whether the CEOs and CFOs should stop wasting millions on advertising and invest millions on improving patient safety so you and I receive what we expect – world class care from these big institutions.
Bottom line; less money should be spent on trying to enhance the local and national reputation of the hospitals and more money should be invested in providing the kind of care that the big hospitals claim they can provide.
We see and hear hospital advertising saying one thing and delivering something else. The 2014 patient safety goals established by The Joint Commission include:
- Identifying patients correctly;
- Improving staff communication;
- Using medicines safely;
- Using alarms safely;
- Preventing infections;
- Identifying patient safety risks; and
- Preventing mistakes in surgery.
If only the big hospital chains would spend more time and energy on solving safety issues and less money trying to convince us of their reputation for excellence and why we should trust them, we would all benefit from less medical errors. By improving hospital communication, by creating and improving the culture in hospitals so that patient safety and doctor-patient communication, and education of employees and hospital staff are the top budget items, the patient safety will improve. Here is the link to TJC and the original source on patient safety. http://www.jointcommission.org/assets/1/6/2014_HAP_NPSG_E.pdf