Stranger Than Fiction: Hospital Safety by the Numbers
Did you know that one in three patients is accidentally harmed during a hospital stay? That adds up to about 13 million patients a year who suffer needlessly, and among those, about 400,000 people die as a result in a given year.
When we talk about these big numbers, it’s really hard to wrap our heads around what they mean in real-life terms. So imagine this:
You wake up tomorrow morning to the news that three, fully loaded passenger jets crashed overnight in an Iowa cornfield. There were no survivors.
The media floods Iowa to cover the triple tragedy. The entire world demands answers. What went wrong? Who’s to blame? Grief permeates the air. Hearts go out to the victims and their loved ones. That night, sleep is elusive.
The next morning, headlines shriek again: Three more planes down in the dark night; all passengers and crew are dead. Every imaginable government agency and corporation rush to stem panic and find solutions.
But the third day dawns with numbing news that three more planes full of innocent passengers who dared to board those planes had disintegrated overnight. It feels like the world is coming to an end. However, it’s clear this string of deadly disasters has finally stopped — the airline industry has gone down in flames too. No one even thinks about stepping foot on a plane.
Nine planes crashed. 2,457 innocent people lost their lives on big-name carriers they trusted. But guess what…
During the same three days, 3,000 patients accidentally died in hospitals they trusted. Except the accidental deaths in U.S. hospitals didn’t stop at day three. In fact, they never stop. And the media… they say it’s an old story so barely give notice. And besides, when we’re sick, we have to go to a hospital. What’s the alternative?
Airline travel is 3,000 times safer than hospital care. The airline industry has been pretty open about its safety records, but it wasn’t until recently that we had any guides for choosing safe hospitals. But now we do. Before you or a loved one ever needs hospital care, be sure to check out your options here:
Pilots never take off without a co-pilot and they always go through their safety checklists together. You should never go to a hospital without a friend or family member as your Care Partner. And both of you should go prepared with your The Care Partner Project safety checklists, too.
Hospital hazards for patients are mostly invisible to the naked eye. But when you have your hospital checklists, you’ll know what to look for, what to do, and what to say to get safe and sound care for the people you love.