SOURCE: Dr. Charlotte Thompson

January 09, 2007 08:00 ET

"101 Ways To The Best Medical Care"

Dr. Charlotte E. Thompson Helps Patients Find Safe Hospital Care With New Book

SAN DIEGO, CA -- (MARKET WIRE) -- January 9, 2007 -- Even within the confines of a sterile environment like a hospital, patients are still not safe from contracting certain infections once they enter. According to the US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), "Each year staph infections and other powerful bugs that thrive in hospitals kill 90,000 people and result in $4.5 billion in excess costs." However, there are precautions that patients can take to make their hospital stays healthier. Dr. Charlotte E. Thompson, author of "101 Ways To The Best Medical Care" (Infinity Publishing, 2006, ISBN: 0-7414-3327-3, $14.95) and several other books, offers helpful advice to follow when entering a facility to ensure quality care and a "safe" experience. "With the present fragmentation of medicine, it is important for people to know how to find good hospitals and insist on the best care," explains Thompson. Hygienic procedures, however, are not the only things that must be questioned when a patient enters a hospital. Thompson says that patients also need to follow some additional guidelines listed below:

--  Be cautious of the "big teaching hospitals." They are fine for an
    unusual or complicated problem if a conscientious and caring physician is
    overseeing your case, but if not, care may be left to inexperienced medical
    students or interns.
--  Hire a private nurse if it is financially possible. Otherwise, with
    the current nursing shortage, your care may be left to untrained aides.
--  If a hospital visit is planned, have a signed and notarized "Living
    Will" or "Advanced Health Care Directive." These documents give directions
    on your wishes of what to do in the event of a life-threatening disorder.
--  Always seek a second opinion prior to any serious surgery. However, if
    you are seeing a specialist who is considered one of "the best" in their
    field, then you can usually bypass a second opinion.
--  Follow instructions carefully prior to tests or procedures. For
    example, if your doctor tells you not to eat anything after midnight,
    follow his/her directions. "Otherwise, your results could be life-
--  If you are having a surgical procedure like a biopsy or mastectomy,
    write "Wrong Side" on the area on which the surgery is not to be performed.
--  Remember that you or a relative may have to be extra assertive to get
    the best care during your stay. Whether it is being moved to a different
    floor or being discharged too early, ask questions and voice your concerns
    if something does not seem right.
"Fortunately, most people know beforehand when they will be admitted to a hospital, so I advise them to take advantage of that time and to educate themselves and prepare as much as possible prior to their entrance," said Thompson.

Thompson is the author of five other books including, "Raising a Handicapped Child" (1985, William Morrow, Ballantine), "Single Solutions" (Random House and Econ-Verlag in Germany, 1990), "Making Wise Choices" (Branden Books, 1993), "Raising a Child with a Neuromuscular Disorder" (Oxford University Press, 1999) and "Raising a Handicapped Child" (revised and expanded - Oxford University Press, 2000). In addition to her books, Thompson has published more than 100 articles in both medical journals and magazines and she has been featured on many national TV shows.

"101 Ways To The Best Medical Care" is available on,,, and can be ordered in bookstores through Ingram or Baker and Taylor.

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