Southern Rensselaer County

Rotary Club

Your Guide to a Better Hospital Stay

April 2015

Rotary Logo smallThis guide has been created by members of the Southern Rensselaer County Rotary Club to help patients and consumers have a faster, safer, more comfortable inpatient hospital stay.

It is available free of charge to any organization that wishes to use it. It cannot be sold, but may be modified in ways that accommodate its use. Indeed, it has been created with the express intent that hospitals will adopt and modify the document to suit their specific situations, programs and contacts.

CHWS logoThe brochure could not have been developed without the extensive, highly professional support of faculty from the School of Public Health at the State University of New York at Albany. It began as an effort to improve outcomes for people who require hospitalization. It isn’t possible to train everyone to be a healthcare professional, but the goal of this pamphlet, and the group who have prepared it, are to:

• provide a guide on navigating a hospital admission
• open communications between the patient and care givers
• empower the patient in decision making
• promote the concept of patient helpers
• engage the hospital in partnering with the patient, and
• help consumers and their supporters be better at protecting patients who may not readily be able to voice their concerns and/or needs.

There has been much written about the issues people and care givers face when anyone needs to be cared for in a hospital. [1] In one year for Medicare patients alone there were over 25,000 hospital acquired conditions. [2] There is no way for humans to avoid all errors. Many efforts are now being made to reduce the incidence of errors in hospitals, and in transitions out of the hospital, as much as possible yet some errors are inevitable. These errors are costly to both the person involved and the hospital, both in terms of human suffering and in monetary terms. [3] If this brochure and initiatives related to it can help reduce possible errors by even a small amount it will benefit consumers, hospitals, caregivers, and insurers.

Please send any questions or comments to Peter C. Brown at this e-mail address — It would be especially helpful to hear about use of the brochure, where it is used, and any results that may be collected from its implementation.

Thanks for your interest and support. Sincerely, Peter Brown; Terry Brewer; Jim Butterworth; James Leyhane, M.D.; Roberto Martinez, M.D.

[1] see Nichols Rates and types of events reported to established incident reporting systems in two US hospitals. http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.go/pmc/articles/PMC2464990/ accessed 1/20/2015. [2] See Kandilov et al. The Impact of Hospital-Acquired Conditions on Medicare Program Payments accessed 1/20/2015) [3] Op.Cit Nichols et al.


PATIENTS: Click here to download generic brochure

HOSPITALS: Click here to download modifiable brochure


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