Blog | Monday, December 12, 2016

We used to sell cigarettes in hospitals


Nice article in STAT, a relatively new Boston Globe-affiliated publication devoted entirely to health care. Melissa Bailey reminds us that Candy Stripers used to sell cigarettes to patients to comfort them while hospitalized.

How quaint.

She goes on to point out 5 practices that will seem just as antiquated. Soon, we hope.
1. Advising doctors not to say, “I'm sorry.” Hospitals still do this. It can be seen as an admission of guilt, the thinking goes.
2. Have prescription labels that don't indicate what the medicine is for. How smart. And not even close to standard at present.
3. Not washing our hands in front of you every time. ‘Nuff said.
4. Spending more time typing than talking and listening to you. We can hope, can't we?
5. Easily getting your medical records, without your having to pay, wait, fill out forms, or just be hassled like you're asking for state secrets.

I think this is an excellent list. There are no doubt dozens more. (Why do we awaken people in the hospital so often?) What are your ideas for health care pet peeves you'd like to see abolished?

This post by John H. Schumann, MD, FACP, originally appeared at GlassHospital. Dr. Schumann is a general internist. His blog, GlassHospital, seeks to bring transparency to medical practice and to improve the patient experience.