No one enjoys going to a hospital. It’s like a melting pot of all our least favorite things in this world: bureaucracy, excessive waits, a feeling of vulnerability and that our privacy is being impinged on and, yes, let’s be honest, lots and lots of germs and sick people. Yet, as bad as hospitals often are, many consumers end up with worse experiences there than they should have simply because they fail to do a little research beforehand. With that in mind, here is our roundup of a few essential facts about hospitals that you should know before checking in.
Stay Healthy in July
One of the biggest secrets that many Americans don’t know is that July has proven to be the most dangerous month to visit a hospital. No, it’s not because the doctors are too busy day dreaming of the beach to perform their surgeries (although I guess this could be a possibility.) Rather, it’s because July is the month when students graduate from medical school and start doing residencies at teaching hospitals.
According to ABC News, a recent study analyzed the nearly 250,000 deaths that occurred between 1979 and 2006 due to a hospital’s medication errors and found that the number “spiked by 10 percent in July in counties with a high number of teaching hospitals.” So if you do get sick in July, be sure to research whether the hospital you’re going to is associated with a medical school where residents go to practice.
Several studies have confirmed what many Americans already know: hospitals have terrible wait times. But according to some, these wait times may actually be endangering patients. The American College of Emergency Physicians reported that patients who needed to be seen within one to 14 minutes of arriving ended up having to wait more than twice as long, or about 37 minutes.