There are hidden dangers in our medical delivery system, and few of us are immune from them
San Francisco, CA (PRWEB) August 24, 2008
Julia Hallisy knows all too well what can go wrong when you or someone you love is in a hospital. While her daughter Kate battled cancer for ten years, she experienced just about every problem that can be encountered. Before Kate died at age 10, Hallisy made a vow: to sound a rallying cry for patients and families to become active agents in preventing dangerous hospital errors and ensuring the health care they deserve.
Hallisy's new book, "The Empowered Patient", provides hundreds of concrete action steps that anyone can follow in acting as their own advocate or standing up for a vulnerable family member in today's hectic, potentially perilous hospital environment.
"There are hidden dangers in our medical delivery system, and few of us are immune from them," notes Hallisy. She points out that nearly 100,000 deaths each year are due to medical error and preventable infections, prompting the Institute for Health Care Improvement to launch a campaign to reduce medical errors by five million over two years. The CDC reports that 1.7 million Americans will suffer from a hospital-acquired infection. And half of all patients experience something wrong in their hospital experience.
"The current health delivery system is unacceptable," concludes Hallisy, whose daughter suffered a life-threatening infection from surgery. "But armed with the right information, we can unite as the largest, most cost-effective, most powerful grassroots group in history."
Recently featured by NPR's "The Story" and quoted on CNN.com and The Chicago Tribune "Triage" blog, Hallisy reports stories of how ordinary people are excited to learn of the real power they have in dealing with the health care system. In interviews, Hallisy, a San Francisco dentist and mother of two sons, clearly and passionately addresses:
- What you can do to become an empowered patient. Tips include: 1) Make your primary doctors accountable and accessible, and find out the background and experience of everyone else treating you; 2) Claim your right to maintain access to your medical records and charts, and insist that all care providers write complete, legible entries; 3) Keep your own medical dairy to record every detail of treatment; 4) Study all consent forms and, when necessary, make changes before signing them; 5) Be vigilant about all hospital staff following the dozens of infection control measures discussed in the book.
- Why the medical establishment resists the idea of patients becoming fully empowered partners in their health care team, even though it's in their best interest. Hallisy reveals the harshly negative emails she has received from hospital administrators, while some medical practitioners admit privately that what she says is true but fear speaking up.
- How her daughter Kate encouraged her to write The Empowered Patient and offered her own positive feedback for others. "Kate was a happy child who was not angry about what happened to her," Hallisy remembers. "With this book and this cause, we have found a path to honor her."
INTERVIEWS AVAILABLE IMMEDIATELY
Complimentary Copies of The Empowered Patient Available Upon Request
Dr. Julia Hallisy
595 Buckingham Way # 305
San Francisco, CA 94132
Phone: (415) 681-1011