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Sometimes we choose a hospital facility because it is nearby or convenient or we know someone who can help us from within the hospital. Sometimes we need a Specialist hospital, particularly for specialized fields such as ophthalmology, mental health, cancer TB, etc . Sometimes we can choose a Multi Speciality hospital, to address complex or multiple organ illnesses. Most of the times, we go by the Doctors advice. The testimonials and experiences of patients who have used the facility can be useful The costs can vary in each case.. The facilities may be high class, or medium class.

 Choosing an accredited hospital is your best bet as the accreditation process judges their facility, infrastructure, processes, manpower and customer and employee feedback. Every hospital may boast of excellent care and standards. Accreditation is the external validation of adherence to national or international quality and safety standards. WWW.NABH.CO

RELEVANT LINKS for further reading

How to choose a hospital:

Accreditation process involves examination of technical and medical expertise of the doctors, nurses, and para medical staff. It covers the administration processes and adherence to quality and safety standards laid down by the Medical Fraternity. It looks at the service experience of patients.

It is normally valid for 4 years. Thereafter the accreditation status has to be renewed. During the period before renewal regular audits ensure compliance to standards and process integrity. This also encourages research and innovation of Best Practices .

Accreditation also evaluates waste disposal systems, including bins clearly marked, designated areas for collection, and its disposal, show a safe place. Standard operating procedure including wearing disposal gloves, and gear by the staff are specified . 

Incident reporting and its analysis, without fear of reprisal can encourage and nurture a quality and safety culture in the hospital

The accreditation process usually does not have any impact on the cost of treatment.

Hence it is beneficial for the patient to get treated in an accredited facility.

Many agencies are involved in the accreditation process and its audit. Some of the well known names are—NABH, QAI, These too are certified by International agencies , who keep adding newer requirements and best practices.

Accreditation agencies like NABH are authorised to check the functioning, systems and procedures followed in hospitals and conducts audits periodically. They provide valuable guidelines for safe and quality care delivery and service, as also administration in hospitals and diagnostic centres.. It is therefore advisable to seek medical care in such accredited facilities.

What is the Validity of accreditation?

List of areas under purview by NABH

Every hospital has a Front Desk or May -I -help -You section right at the Reception area. 

The Billing may also be nearby. Admission desk could also be close by.

Read the signs displayed on the outside, inside, front desk and reception areas. Overhead signs show directions to every department. Ask for help from the Front desk to guide you in case of language difficulty, inability to read the signs, or if you are unable to navigate the passages yourself. 

All big hospitals have an Emergency area which is open all 24 hours. Critical patients must go to Emergency where they try and stabilise the patient before sending him/her home or admit for further management. 

For Inpatient admissions, the process may be different, and may need prior deposit of advance fees before you are allotted a bed/room. 

Other general services like canteen, parking, toilets, water, and sitting areas may be spread around the hospital. Most good hospitals also have a pharmacy . 

Wards for Inpatient admissions may be on different floors based on specialisation. .

Operation theatres and recovery rooms, ICU may all be on higher floors.

Take your time to understand the layout of the hospital for attending as a patient in OPD or before admission. Seek help if you find difficulty.

Go to a doctor only if you have faith in him or her. You should follow the doctor’s prescribed line of treatment. It is important to fully understand the treatment plan and subsequent follow up. 

The doctor’s written prescription normally includes the reason and evidence of the diagnosis and treatment recommended. Doctor would refer to findings of the investigations as well.

For major illnesses involving multiple symptoms, or long standing illnesses, or complex decisions like surgery, one can seek Second Opinion of another doctor, Specialist doctor or Specialized Hospital.

Patient support groups also offer insights from other patients, and assistance in symptomatic relief or information about services needed for a comprehensive cure.

RELEVANT LINKS for further reading

things to ask the doctor during your check up:

How to read a prescription:

Following doctor orders for medication:

A second opinion is taken at the Diagnosis stage. You can seek a second opinion for any major illness.

RELEVANT LINKS for further reading

Getting a Second Opinion

5 situations when you should get a second opinion

Do Doctors Get Offended When You Get a Second Opinion? 

Doctors and Nurses in hospitals try and provide the best treatment and care but sudden falls can result in serious harm and trauma. There is an alarming incidence of patient falls in Indian hospitals, despite efforts and care by healthcare staff. This risk can be minimized if patients and caregivers are alert and take proactive steps.

Firstly, patients should avoid moving alone if feeling weak or dizzy and should always use the call button for assistance. When getting out of bed, they should do so slowly and methodically. Ensure that the floor and toilets are dry and not wet. Wearing non-slippery footwear is essential, and patients should utilize handrails and walking aids for stability. Safety belts should be secured when on stretchers or wheelchairs.

Additionally, patients should keep their surroundings clutter-free to prevent tripping hazards. There are side guards on both sides of the hospital beds – they should always be raised. Lower the bed when you are getting off, avoid using the step stool unless you are confident, or someone is assisting you.

Finally, adhering to doctors; instructions regarding mobility precautions is crucial, as certain medications and treatments can increase the risk of falls. While you depend on nurses and attendants to help you, they are not always in your hospital room. Insist on the above safe practices.

To know more:

Preventing falls in Hospitals

Infographic - How can Patients prevent falls in Hospitals?

What happens if you slip and fall in a hospital?

What can you do to reduce your risk of falling? 

Falls pose significant risks, especially for patients and the elderly at home.  Post-hospital discharge there is a false sense of confidence, and we may not be as cautious once we are home. After hospitalization, there is natural weakness in addition effects of long immobility and medications make us more vulnerable to falls.  The trauma and harm caused are immense and can lead to extended recovery. To safeguard against falls, simple precautions can help.

Begin by decluttering living spaces. Remove obstacles like clutter, mats, cords, and excess furniture. If there are steps or levels, mark them with colored stripes for visibility. Footwear plays a critical role; opt for non-slip options, avoiding walking in socks or barefoot. Inside the bathroom, use non-slip mats and a rubber mat outside the shower. Install handrails for support but don't lock the bathroom door.

Well-lit homes are safer; employ night lamps in bedrooms, toilets, and corridors. Keep room doors slightly ajar for easy access.

Getting up from the bed should be gradual: sit up, sit on the edge, then stand, pausing at each step. Use the call button and take help if feeling unsteady; never attempt to move alone in such cases. Employ prescribed walking aids, seeking caregiver support when needed. Lastly, exercise enhances mobility, stability, and strength, diminishing fall risk. Consult healthcare providers or physical therapists for tailored exercise routines.

These measures significantly reduce fall risks and associated injuries.

To know more:

Preventing Falls at Homes

Infographic - Tips to prevent falls at home

What to do if you fall at home?

What causes people to fall?