Posted by on Sep 14, 2019 in Blog | 0 comments

In March of this year, Dr. Harlan Krumholz, a cardiologist at Yale School of Medicine, asked this question on Twitter.

Forty-four tweets later, people had posted a number of great suggestions. For example,

Anyone who has been in the hospital has experienced loud discussions between staff that interrupt sleep. One patient tweeted that she wanted patients to be provided with earplugs and sleep masks and asked for doors to be closed.

Here are a few more insights from patients who have been hospitalized.

Unsanitary Conditions

Patients worried about the lack of cleanliness of hospitals. Staff including physicians are not washing their hands.

Having to ask professionals to wash their hands is embarrassing and stressful.

Another pointed out the filthy mops that are used to clean.

Lack of Staff Knowledge

Extremely dangerous situations were described. For example, hospital staff did not know the difference between Type 1 and Type 2 diabetes and were using the protocols for someone with Type 2 diabetes on a patient with Type 1 diabetes.

No Way to Remember Who is Who

Patients and caregivers noted that physicians and others enter the room and talk to them but don’t introduce themselves or have name tags that are too small to read. They described feeling overwhelmed and wishing for a way to keep up with all the people. Not having any idea when their healthcare providers will come to visit is another difficulty in hospitals. In my personal experience as a caregiver, I didn’t feel I could leave the my family member’s room to get a meal because I might miss the physician doing rounds and possibly miss vital information.

This caregiver came up with a solution for her father/patient.

Patients Coordinating Care Rather Than HCPs

Patients (and caregivers if they are available) seem to be required to coordinate their care even though they are seriously ill because of a lack of communication between healthcare providers.

Preventable Trauma

Several patients told of traumatic experiences in the hospital.

Being Ignored

Patients and caregivers described not being listened.

Problems Around Discharge

Discharge from the hospital appears to be a problem for many. Lack of preparation time to discuss discharge was one complaint. Another was that patients were discharged to home with no support.

How Can Hospitals Do Better?

What do you wish would change in hospital care? Please share your experiences with us in the comments section.