Harm to patients lessens, but there's a long way to go

People are harmed in the hospital when they fall trying to get out of bed and sustain a head injury or broken hip, pick up new infections that may be very difficult to recover from, are given the wrong drug and it creates a serious problem, and so forth.

Patients often lack a framework for thinking about health care

In the summer after I finished first grade, my family moved to a house located about an hour's drive from our last one. I had learned to read that year, and over the summer I polished off the entire Bobbsey Twins series, the entire Hardy Boys series, and so forth. The first day of school, I was excited to find out what they would teach us now.

Actions you can take when doctors act disrespectfully

Are you kept waiting for a long time to see the doctor? Do you get "patronizing and dismissive answers" to questions you ask? Have you gotten the sense that you didn't get the whole story - "full and honest disclosure" - when something went wrong in the course of treatment? Did you ever feel later that you weren't given the information that would have allowed you to make a better choice about getting certain tests or treatments?

Rude, dismissive doctors put patients at risk

In my books about healthcare (including one to be published this summer, "When Health Care Hurts"), I always conclude by talking about the future of healthcare. What will be different? What will lead to change? One theme remains constant: For serious change to occur, patients must be treated with more respect than they are today.

Assumptions about motives regarding tragic mistakes may be wrong

Last week's column pointed out that harm caused by some organizations gets a lot more attention and outrage than does harm caused by healthcare. For example, 13 people died over the course of a decade because General Motors allegedly failed to redesign and replace a defective part in its cars. Yet, millions died over the same decade from preventable infections and blood clots they got in the hospital, medical errors, drug side effects and other complications of care. Which one got a congressional investigation, fines and massive press coverage?

Where's the outrage for deaths caused by health care?

Consider what happens when deaths or injuries result from a problem with a mine, a ferry, a train, an airplane, a cruise ship, an oilrig or an automobile. For example, a Malaysian airliner disappearance in March 2014, with 239 presumed dead, got so much attention that a Google search on this topic yielded 143 million hits. A Metro-North train crash in December 2013 that left four dead resulted in an immediate investigation by the National Transportation Safety Board. Mine incidents leading to a handful of deaths are investigated by both state and federal mine safety organizations.

You can publish your own paperbacks, with or without photos

This is the eighth and final article in a series about creating photo (and other) books to help you, your family, and future caregivers focus on the richness and significance of your life - instead of primarily on infirmities you might develop.

Questions answered about making your photo book

This is the seventh in a series about creating photo (and other) books to help you, your family, and future caregivers focus on the richness and significance of your life - instead of primarily on infirmities you might develop.

Q: Does every page have to be laid out the same way?

A: No. If the service you've chosen has this restriction, try a different service. At mypublisher.com, for example, the style "bestseller" (one of ten styles) offers 137 different layouts for each page.

Q: Do you have to put the same number of photos on each page?

Photo books are useful to people of any age

This is the fourth in a series about creating photo (and other) books to help you, your family, and future caregivers focus on the richness and significance of your life - instead of primarily on infirmities you might develop.

The last several columns have suggested that you create photo books about your life. These can be prepared on your computer and then professionally printed, including many pictures, stories and descriptions. These books can be meaningful as you age. For some people, though, that payoff seems quite distant - are there any immediate benefits?

Secrets for making a photo book that endures

This is the sixth in a series about creating photo (and other) books to help you, your family, and future caregivers focus on the richness and significance of your life - instead of primarily on infirmities you might develop.

Last week's column talked about preparing photos and choosing the company whose software you will use to create and print your book. This week's column gives hints you won't find in the software's help screens.

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