When an unconscious patient arrives in the ED, every hospital agrees that timely next of kin notification is vital. Not only is it important to have a family member present to comfort the patient, but to make informed decisions for his care and provide the medical history that can make the difference between life and death. From a" >
Cranford Hospice is Hawke's Bay's leading palliative care provider. Our dedicated team is available 24 hours a day, seven days a week.
Go further with international health insurance. Global support for people who think a little bigger
The Apollonion Private Hospital is an ultra-modern Hospital purposely built to offer the best medical care to its patients.
Specialist medical suppliers in sourcing and distributing pharmaceuticals, medical equipment and consumable supplies.
Women Magazine on Fitness, Health, Food, Beauty & more.
Allen Carr Easyway International operates clinics in more than 150 cities in over 50 countries worldwide.
All kinds of plastic surgeries at affordable cost.
Al Zahra Hospital
Al Zahra Hospital Sharjah is the first and the largest private general hospital in the UAE with both inpatient and outpatient treatment at an international standard,
Kunming Children’s Hospital
Kunming Children Hospital integrates first aid, medical treatment, rehabilitation, health care, & scientific research.
UT Health East Texas is passionate about delivering the highest quality care with unmatched compassion, outstanding service and innovative technology.
WORLD HOSPITAL DIRECTORY
Increasing Patient Care and Reducing Liability in Seven Simple Steps
When an unconscious patient arrives in the ED, every hospital agrees that timely next of kin notification is vital. Not only is it important to have a family member present to comfort the patient, but to make informed decisions for his care and provide the medical history that can make the difference between life and death. From a liability standpoint, as we know all too well, having a family member making medical decisions, often means that if complications do arise, the family will be much less likely to sue, than if they hadn't been in attendance.
Although most hospitals make notification calls quickly, between personnel shortages and overworked staffers, that call can often be delayed or forgotten.
That's exactly what happened to Elaine Sullivan, a very active seventy-one-year-old woman, who slipped and fell, while getting into the bathtub. When paramedics arrived, they realized that injuries to her mouth and head had made her unable to communicate, or as the hospital later discovered, to give informed consent for her own care.
Although stable for the first few days, she began to slip into critical condition. On the seventh day, Elaine died. But that tragedy was soon overshadowed by another. Despite having her daughter's phone number and contact information clearly indicated on the front of her chart, the hospital failed to notify her family that she'd been hospitalized until six and a half days after her admission, only hours before she died, unnecessarily and alone.
Elaine Sullivan was my grandmother.
In her case, placing that phone call right away, would have saved her life. Not only would my mother Janet and I have had the time to fly back to Chicago to be at her bedside, but we would have made sure she received the care she needed. We also would have been able to give the physicians treating her, the medical history they needed to prevent the complications and drug interactions, responsible for her death.
After researching our own case and others like it, we realized that failing to notify a patient's next of kin wasn't an isolated problem ? it's something that's been experienced by countless families nationwide. According to the CDC, nearly one million patients come into the ED every year unconscious or physically unable to give informed consent. And with the growing number of emergency room admissions and baby boomers turning into senior citizens, the problem is only going to escalate. We began meeting with medical and trauma professionals, to create an easy-to-implement solution to this growing problem, by bringing together the best practices of successful trauma teams from hospitals nationwide. The result is the Seven Steps to Successful Notification System.
The complete system is presented in The Seven Steps Information Kit, which is available for download, free of charge, on the NOKEP web site. It's filled with tools your staff can use on the patient care floor to identify and locate your unconscious patient's family or surrogate decision makers, identify John Does and improve patient care and satisfaction by locating patient's medical histories quickly and easily, while complying with HIPAA standards.
Even better, following the Seven Steps system provides the facility with a documentation of the steps taken to find the patient's next of kin, make the notification, and the staff members responsible for making it. This releases you from subsequent liability, while providing proof that your facility has met its statutory responsibility.
Here is a quick look at the Seven Steps.
Step 1: Patient status confirmed
The moment that your staff realizes that an ED patient is unconscious or physically unable to give informed consent, and that there is no family member or surrogate decision maker in attendance, a nurse or physician is tasked with following the notification process through to completion. The staff member indicates the patient's status on his chart along with the time, date and the staffer's initials.
Step 2: Examine the patient's personal effects for emergency contact numbers
If the patient doesn't have emergency contact information in his or her wallet, the staff member looks for it in the patient's personal effects. The System has a comprehensive checklist of places to locate this information, from the usual to the downright creative.
Step 3: Retrieve patient's home number
If the patient doesn't have emergency contact information, the staff member then looks for the patient's home number, going to step five if they find it and four if they do not.
Step 4: Seek other sources for contact information
Next, the staff member looks for the patient's emergency contact information or home phone number on records from previous admissions at the facility, or by calling his personal physician's office, or other locations on the checklist. If the staff member finds the information, he proceeds to step five ? if not, step seven.
Step 5: Oversee or make the notification call
When a contact has been identified, the staffer places a call to make the notification. They note on the chart when the call was placed, whom they contacted, the phone number and the result.
Step 6: Need to follow up? Recall main contact or second number
If a message had to be left for the contact, or the contact doesn't come into the hospital within two hours, the staff member places one more call, to the first or a secondary contact. If no one is reached, the staff member proceeds to step seven.
Step 7: Shift to social service or police
When no contact name or number can be located, or if the staff member doing the notification, is unable to speak directly to the contact, they give the information to the social service department or to the local police department, as per your facilities' policy, for follow up.
Along with the Information Kit, the non-profit Next of Kin Education Project has created patient chart pages and notification worksheets using the Seven Steps, that you can purchase and customize to use as part of your own charting system. You'll find them on the NOKEP web site along with reminder products like mouse pads, posters and coffee mugs, to keep the Seven Steps at your staff's fingertips.
Just as doctors, nurses, and staffers from every department make up a team to improve the health of the patients in their care, family and friends can play an important part in contributing to the patient's well being. As a medical professional, you are a diagnostician, a caregiver and a healer. But most of all, you are the patient's advocate. And so is his family. This Kit contains tools that will help you and his family work together to increase his care, trust and take patient satisfaction to a whole new level.
Laura Greenwald, CEO/The Next of Kin Education Project email@example.com
The Seven Steps Information Kit can be downloaded free of charge at http://clik.to/7steps
and the Reminder Products can be purchased at our NOKEP store http://www.cafeshops.com/7steps
Why Our Healthcare System Isnt Healthy
Most people are well aware that an estimated 45 million Americans currently do not have healthcare, but is the crisis simply the lack
Stopping Hospital Infections
Each year hospitals end up killing twice as many people than automobiles, some 90,000 deaths in the United States. It is not from malpractice, i
Protect Yourself Against the Flu Vaccine!
The vaccine industry insists that their vaccines against the flu serve as the key to a healthy winter. Although there has
Chinese Medicine, over 2000 years old, is an ancient form of medicine. Consisting of acupuncture, moxibustion (moxibustion - using material made up of
Medical Billing Specialist
As Pres. Bush was touring the Midwest, shortly before he was re-elected as President, and even after, he spoke of medical reform centering on
Nasonex And You: Breathe Easy, Not Sneezy
While everybody else is wandering around enjoying the spring weather, are you hiding out in your hermetically-sealed house? Do you dread the star
Chronic Headaches and Pain Often Can Be Eliminated By A Special Dentist
DENVER ? Sometimes as Freud once said a good cigar is just a smoke. A headache, on the other hand, occas
Physicians, Chiropractors and Physical Therapist Agree on a New Treatment for Low Back Pain
One of the most prevalent and difficult health conditions to treat in the physical medicine is low back pain. The difficulty in tre
Web Therapy: Enhancing Patient Communication with Web Access
According to Jennifer Lyons' chart, she's just a bad slip and fall who's lucky enough to be on her way to a full
Increasing Patient Care and Reducing Liability in Seven Simple Steps
When an unconscious patient arrives in the ED, every hospital agrees that timely next of kin notificat
Cetyl Myristoleate Seperating Fact From Fiction
I am a strong believer in Cetyl Myristoleate for the treatment of arthritis. For the last three years I have been res
Medical Tests: What Does a Normal Range Mean?
We have a marvelous array of medical tests available to us. Many of them-typically blood-tests-even come with results expressed
CT and MRI Scans in Neurological Practice
Before computed tomographic (CT) scans became available in the 1970s, there was no good method for imaging the brain. The a
Alcohol Rehabilitation Centers - Take An Informed Decision
Alcohol rehabilitation centers in the United States offer a wide range of treatment programmes for your recovery f
Contact Lenses and Eye Glasses
How is Your Vision?
Notice friends getting contact lenses and pulling out eye glasses?