Healthcare Basics
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Hospital Smarts

Are you a smart patient? Test your knowledge about medical mistakes and how protect yourself during hospital stays.

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Hospital Smarts
Hospital Smarts
Question 1 of 20 Correct

What's the biggest problem people encounter while in the hospital?

Correct! Sorry, that’s incorrect.

The correct answer is: The biggest enemy you have in the hospital is bacteria. Bacteria such as Staphylococcus and E. coli can cause a hospital infection -- that is, an infection you catch while you're a patient. Two million hospital infections are reported each year.

Hospital Smarts
Question 2 of 20 Correct

How many people die each year as a result of a hospital-acquired infection?

Correct! Sorry, that’s incorrect.

The correct answer is: Hospital infections cause 99,000 deaths annually and add an average of two weeks to hospital stays, according to research published in the New England Journal of Medicine.

Hospital Smarts
Question 3 of 20 Correct

What are your odds of having significant, unexpected complications while in the hospital?

Correct! Sorry, that’s incorrect.

The correct answer is: Research shows that your personal odds of having a significant, unexpected complication (meaning one that could lay you up for weeks, leave you permanently disabled, or worse) while you're in the hospital are 1 in 25.

Hospital Smarts
Question 4 of 20 Correct

True or false: Your room or bed number is your patient identification number.

Correct! Sorry, that’s incorrect.

The correct answer is: This is false. You need two patient identifiers -- such as the patient's name and social security numbers. Room and bed numbers should not be an identifier because patients move around a lot.

Hospital Smarts
Question 5 of 20 Correct

True or false: Whenever possible, you should choose a hospital that's accredited by the Joint Commission.

Correct! Sorry, that’s incorrect.

The correct answer is: This is true. The Joint Commission is the principal standards setter and evaluator for a variety of healthcare organizations, including hospitals, ambulatory care, behavioral health care, home care, laboratories and long-term care. Joint Commission accreditation means that a healthcare organization complies with the most rigorous standards of performance.

Hospital Smarts
Question 6 of 20 Correct

True or false: A visitor could add up to two weeks to your hospital stay.

Correct! Sorry, that’s incorrect.

The correct answer is: It's true. Visitors mean well, but they touch things they're not supposed to. They bring cards in envelopes they've licked. They let their kids hop up on the bed. They may hug or kiss you. And that visit may have just added another two weeks to your stay if you get an infection from the bugs they left with you. A healthy trade-off? Ask that visitors call you instead.

Hospital Smarts
Question 7 of 20 Correct

Which common get-well gift could harm a hospital patient?

Correct! Sorry, that’s incorrect.

The correct answer is: If you're visiting a patient with a weak immune system, don't bring a bouquet. Flowers introduce a host of germs and should best be enjoyed when the patient is well enough to go home.

Hospital Smarts
Question 8 of 20 Correct

True or false: The best time to stay in a teaching hospital is during the summer months.

Correct! Sorry, that’s incorrect.

The correct answer is: This is false. New medical students begin their first rotations during the summer, and just as you wouldn't want a first-time mechanic working on your car, you may not want a green medical student working on you.

Hospital Smarts
Question 9 of 20 Correct

True or false: Hospital stays can be extended.

Correct! Sorry, that’s incorrect.

The correct answer is: This is true. Sometimes you may not be physically ready to go home when the hospital (or your health insurance company) wants to discharge you. Ask your doctor to extend your stay, and if that doesn't work, enlist your health care advocate. Ask the head doctor (the department head or chief) for help, call your insurance company and go up the chain if you need to.

Hospital Smarts
Question 10 of 20 Correct

Which of these can help prevent a medication error during a hospital stay?

Correct! Sorry, that’s incorrect.

The correct answer is: All of the above. To avoid a mistake in medications, give a complete list of all your medications to your nurse or doctor when you go to the hospital. Don't take any medication when you're in the hospital unless your doctor prescribes it. If you're not sure if a certain medication is appropriate, ask why it's being given. If you refuse a medication, be sure to discuss it with your healthcare provider. If you need a procedure that requires ingesting dye, remind your doctor, nurse or technician of any allergies you have.

Hospital Smarts
Question 11 of 20 Correct

True or false: Before giving you a medicine, a healthcare provider only has to ask for your name or check your hospital-issued wrist band.

Correct! Sorry, that’s incorrect.

The correct answer is: This is false. Healthcare providers should check your identification twice, asking for your name, social security number or date of birth. Many healthcare providers will scan a barcode on your wristband as well. This helps them ensure they're giving the right medication to the right person.

Hospital Smarts
Question 12 of 20 Correct

True or false: Hospitals are generally clean, so you do not have to worry about washing your hands as frequently.

Correct! Sorry, that’s incorrect.

The correct answer is: This is false. When you're a patient in the hospital, wash your hands with soap and water several times a day, especially after you hug or shake hands. Take 15 seconds to scrub your hands with soap and warm water. Be sure to wash your whole hand, including the palm, back of hand and fingers.

Hospital Smarts
Question 13 of 20 Correct

True or false: Alcohol sanitizing gel isn't as effective as washing your hands with soap and water.

Correct! Sorry, that’s incorrect.

The correct answer is: This is false. If you cannot get up to wash your hands, an alcohol sanitizing gel is just as effective. But the preferred way to keep your hands clean is an old-fashioned soap and warm water scrub.

Hospital Smarts
Question 14 of 20 Correct

True or false: It's rude to remind your nurse or doctor to wash his or her hands before touching you.

Correct! Sorry, that’s incorrect.

The correct answer is: This is false. Reminding the nurses and doctors to wash their hands before touching you isn't rude -- it could be a lifesaver.

Hospital Smarts
Question 15 of 20 Correct

When picking a hospital, which of these should be the LEAST important factor?

Correct! Sorry, that’s incorrect.

The correct answer is: When picking a hospital, the least important factor is its location. Instead, check to make sure that the hospital is accredited by the Joint Commission. While many people will choose a hospital based on which health insurance plans they accept, the most important thing is getting the best possible care.

Hospital Smarts
Question 16 of 20 Correct

True or false: Shift changes are the most likely times for medical mistakes to occur.

Correct! Sorry, that’s incorrect.

The correct answer is: This is true. Most medical mistakes happen during or after changes in shifts.

Hospital Smarts
Question 17 of 20 Correct

Which of these actions could help prevent a medical mistake during a shift change?

Correct! Sorry, that’s incorrect.

The correct answer is: All of the above. You can help prevent a medical mistake during a shift change by asking your previous nurse if there is anything you should tell your next nurse; having the new nurse or healthcare provider perform multiple checks of your identification before administering any medicine; and checking your list of medicines against the medicine the nurse is giving you.

Hospital Smarts
Question 18 of 20 Correct

To prevent surgery on the wrong body part, which of these should you insist your surgeon do prior to going into the surgery room?

Correct! Sorry, that’s incorrect.

The correct answer is: The surgeon must mark the site of your surgery and should involve you in the marking process. The surgical staff will double-check the site along with the surgeon immediately before the operation. They will also review the X-rays again.

Hospital Smarts
Question 19 of 20 Correct

How long should a visitor stay with you?

Correct! Sorry, that’s incorrect.

The correct answer is: You need time to rest, so be clear with your visitors (or ask a family member to tell them for you) that you'd appreciate short visits of no more than 10 to 15 minutes.

Hospital Smarts
Question 20 of 20 Correct

Which of these questions should you ask before leaving the hospital?

Correct! Sorry, that’s incorrect.

The correct answer is: All of the above. Before leaving the hospital, be sure to ask all the questions you might have about your discharge, including special diets, complications, medicines (including those for pain), when you can resume normal physical activity and when you should schedule a follow-up appointment.

Hospital Smarts
Congratulations!

You got out of 20 correct. You're a health wiz!

Hospital Smarts
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Hospital Smarts
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