People often spend a lot of time selecting the right medical doctor for themselves and their families. They’ll ask for referrals from friends and family and check with their insurance companies. One in four are even using online doctor ratings to help them in their decisions.1 However, many consumers don’t realize that the environment where care takes place is just as important as the doctor they choose. According to the article, Optimizing Patient Care: Why Safety Is Everyone’s Responsibility, “The Joint Commission recommends asking a primary care physician to suggest the best hospitals and speaking to hospital representatives before scheduling a procedure.” Consumer Reports recommends that before selecting a doctor, a consumer should determine the physician’s hospital affiliations and then see how the facility compares with others in the neighborhood. 2

Quality patient care is dependent on a safe environment, so the hospitals that provide the best care are those with the safest environments. And everybody who enters a facility affects that environment. Healthcare-associated infections (HAIs) cost almost 100,000 American lives and nearly $40 billion annually. Hospitals have protocols in place to prevent disease transmission by medical and general staff, but since 75 percent of the people at most hospitals are members of the public, visitors need to participate as well.

IntelliCentrics enables facilities to engage with every person who comes through the door. In a recent press release, global CEO Mike Sheehan explains, “The key concept here is that we all play a role in creating a safe and environment. Before , only the medical staff was burdened with the responsibility of the environment. Now because of all of the advancements in , healthcare facilities can empower everyone to contribute to creating a safe and environment.”

How can patients or patient guests protect themselves and those around them in a healthcare environment? The Optimizing Patient Care article shares some simple tips:

  • Get vaccinated against the flu. Many hospitals require staff to get annual flu shots, but patients and visitors can be the least protected people in the building.
  • Wash hands often. According to the World Health Organization, most hospital-acquired infections could be prevented through simple and consistent hand washing. Visitors should wash hands when they arrive and before they leave a healthcare facility.
  • Wipe feet. Keep germs from entering a facility and ensure that you don’t bring any home.

Finally, know before you go. Since 87 percent of hospital visits are scheduled in advance, most Americans have a choice among several different healthcare facilities. IntelliCentrics advances patient safety by helping consumers locate facilities through the Know Before You Go feature on our website. Hospital visitors can check in advance if the facilities in their area use IntelliCentrics to protect them.

Sources:

  1. http://www.usatoday.com/story/news/nation/2014/02/18/online-doctor-ratings/5582257/
  2. http://www.consumerreports.org/cro/2014/09/how-to-choose-a-doctor/index.htm
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