Joint replacements are the #1 expenditure of Medicare. The process of approving these medical devices is flawed according to the Institute of Medicine. It is time for patients' voices to be heard as stakeholders and for public support for increased medical device industry accountability and heightened protections for patients. Post-market registry. Product warranty. Patient/consumer stakeholder equity. Rescind industry pre-emptions/entitlements. All clinical trials must report all data.
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Thursday, October 27, 2011

Consumer Reports: Essential Medical Harm Prevention Tips from Patient Advocates

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Patient-safety advocates offer some unusual tips
Oct 26, 2011 5:10 PM
A group of 32 advocates from our Safe Patient Project gathered at our headquarters in Yonkers yesterday to talk about making hospitals safer places for patients. One theme: Do your homework, and get information from lots of different sources. Here are five of their more unusual suggestions.
1. Watch a You Tube surgery video. OK, not everyone really wants to know exactly what’s entailed in, say, a hip replacement. But one of our advocates said that too often patients underestimate what surgery really involves, and thus take the procedure and recovery too lightly. Nothing, he says, can wake you up to the reality like seeing the operation being performed. And you might be surprised what you can find online.
2. Yelp! Granted, anecdotal information is no substitute for data. And hospitals are unlikely to have more than a few user reviews. But reading through patient experiences on Yelp! might alert you to some of the snafus other patients ran into.
3. Ask a malpractice attorney. After several botched procedures, one advocate said he finally asked a lawyer in town…who turned out to have lots of insights into which surgeons to see, and which ones to stay away from.
4. Bring a wireless device to the hospital. Doesn’t matter if it’s a smart phone or computer or iPad, but bring something so you can do research on the fly.
5. Don’t be alone. Actually, just about everyone said this. The single most important thing you can do, they emphasized, is to make sure you have a friend or family member with you as much as possible to act as your advocate and to keep a record of what’s going on.
Read more about our Safe Patient Project. And check out our tips on how to stay safe in the hospital as well as our hospital Ratings for comprehensive information about hospital infection rates and patient experiences.
—Joel Keehn

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