Amid a pandemic, hospital safety is more important than ever. People are not only checking into hospitals due to COVID-19 but for other health concerns as well.
Every single hospitalization has to be handled with care because it gravely affects the outcome of the patient. Whether it is an emergency room visit, pre-existing health condition check-up, or COVID-19 testing appointment, people want to be sure that their nearby hospitals are adequately equipped to handle their health concerns. Unfortunately, people in Maryland may have reason to be concerned.
According to a new Grand Canyon University study, only 13% of hospitals in Maryland received an ‘A’ grade from the Leapfrog Group. Compared to its surrounding states such as Pennsylvania (33%), Virginia (53%), and North Carolina (46%), this is a very low percentage.
For 20 years Leapfrog Group has made it their mission to help improve the safety, quality, and affordability of healthcare in America. They calculate their grading scale by conducting an annual survey of thousands of hospitals across the United States and then allowing the public to review the results to compare hospitals against one another on a number of metrics.
Unfortunately, Maryland falls under the lower end of the Leapfrog group’s safest hospitals. However, it does seem that Maryland is seeing success amid COVID-19. According to the Baltimore Sun, Maryland reported a seven-day positivity rate for Coronavirus testing, as it falls to record lows. While the testing continues to fall, the number of virus-related patients currently in Maryland hospitals has increased over the past few days.
Many people are a bit helpless in terms of which hospitals they have access to. Most of the time, people visit and receive treatment from hospitals that are closest to them, and you either live near great hospitals, or you don’t. However, as COVID-19 hospitalizations continue to rise, especially as flu season approaches, you can take steps to protect your hospital safety during visits and hospitalizations.
Wear a Mask
This is mandatory inside of all hospitals, but be sure to follow this important protocol. When you are inside of hospitals you should only be removing your mask for required medical treatment. Whether you believe you have COVID-19, or are preventing contracting the virus, following this rule helps keep everyone in the hospital safe.
Wash/ Sanitize Hands
Wash or sanitize your hands. It’s really that simple. Everyone can do it, but are you doing it more often? When you are in the waiting room, use Purell or a hand sanitizer with alcohol in it. When you use the bathroom, touch a doorknob, touch a chair, etc. wash or sanitize your hands. This will minimize the spread of germs within hospitals, and this practice is not only relevant to the COVID-19 era, but it will also still be relevant afterward.
Be Diligent with Hospital Staff
This is perhaps the most important tip. Trust your gut, ask questions, and demand change if needed. If you see or feel something isn’t right, say something to your doctor. Whether it’s regarding the exam bed, medical equipment, medication dosage, sanitization protocols, you are allowed to ask questions when it pertains to your health and safety. If you are coherent, you can take back some power during your hospitalization. Remember, you are in charge of your health as well.