Smart patient checklist from Oprah’s Dr. Oz

Tuesday’s Oprah had Dr. Oz talking to viewers about the smart patient checklist. Dr. Oz believes there are eight ways to avoid medical mistakes: preventing infection, avoiding wrong-site surgery, not commencing in chitchat, using a high-tech hospital, using a hospital that uses a patient care checklist, using a nationally accredited hospital, knowing the hospital you are using, and being a smart patient.

Preventing infections is straightforward. “You’re in an environment that has sick people in it who have infections themselves,” says Dr. Oz. Also, “It’s so easy to spread to you.”

Asking people to wash their hands before touching you, keeping hand sanitizer near your bedside, and avoiding bacteria-promoting items (flowers and jewelry) will help reduce your chance of getting a hospital-acquired infection. Other helpful tips include asking the doctor or nurse to wash their hands, sanitize their medical equipment (stethescope, sphygmomonometer, etc.), and to clean general patient room equipment (phone, television remote, etc.).

More details about Dr. Oz’s smart patient checklist can be found on Oprah’s website.