KHN Morning Briefing

Summaries of health policy coverage from major news organizations

Operating Rooms, Hospitals Face Challenges In Eliminating Risks, Delivering High Quality Of Care

USA Today reports that many hospitals have not adopted technologies that would help elminate the risk of leaving sponges in patients during surgery. Meanwhile, the Associated Press offers a list to help patients avoid problems in the hospital.

USA Today: What Surgeons Leave Behind Costs Some Patients
Thousands of patients a year leave the nation's operating rooms with surgical items in their bodies. And despite occasional tales of forceps, clamps and other hardware showing up in post-operative X-rays, those items are almost never the problem. Most often, it's the gauzy, cotton sponges that doctors use throughout operations to soak up blood and other fluids, a USA TODAY examination shows. Yet thousands of hospitals and surgical centers have failed to adopt readily available technologies that all but eliminate the risk of leaving sponges in patients (Eisler, 3/8).

The Associated Press: How To Avert Problems For A Happy Hospital Stay
Hospital stays can be scary, but they don't have to be. A stay in the hospital can be stressful, whether it's an emergency visit, a birth of a child or a planned surgery. But there are a number of things patients and their relatives or friends can do in order to make stays in the hospital more comfortable (Johnson, 3/7).

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