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How to Motivate Hospitals to Screen for MRSA

September 20th, 2009 Leave a comment Go to comments

What drives our hospitals?    I am not talking about the hands on caregivers like nurses.  NURSES ARE AWESOME!!  I am one myself! In general nurses are motivated by their love for and dedication to ill and injured patients.    I am talking about CEOs, hospitals associations and professional medical associations.  They will tell you if you ask them that their priorities are their patients and excellent medical outcomes.  “Care and compassion” are two more words you will hear in their responses.   The reality is that filling beds, money, money money and growing their organizations are their priorities.  This isn’t to say they intentionally do damage to patients , but they feel a certainty that they are above scrutiny if they do.   The other reality is that they lobby to avoid, and limit  medical  liablity…again money oriented motivation. 

So, wouldn’t it be something if lawyers took the challenge to turn the tables on MRSA?  I know, lawyers aren’t medical people, but……. a class action suit for MRSA infections acquired while under the care of  “caring and compassionate” hospitals may be the greatest  motivator for improved MRSA prevention.  It makes me sad  to have these thoughts.  But, I have witnessed the mechanisms of medical politics and power  first hand.  I never thought our medical care would come down to this.  It is mind boggling.  Our medical care is the fodder of politics from the level of your local doctor and  hospital all the way up to the president of the US.  Who would have thunk it.

In an ideal world, our doctors and hospitals would do whatever is necessary to give everyone the safest and highest quality of care that they can,  withholding nothing.   When we are sick or injured, we would all expect that, would we not?  Well, don’t hold your breath for that!   Everyone needs to assert themselves and bring an  advocate when they go into the hospital for anything.  Your nurses will advocate for you, but they also collect their paychecks from the hospital.  This limits their advocacy.  Complainers and whistle blowers are not tolerated well in hospitals, even when they are right!   Unionized nurses do hold more clout because of their numbers and professional representation. So if you are in a unionized hospital, consider yourself lucky.   You still must speak out for your own safety and that of your loved ones and friends.

I heard repeatedly  from hospitals representatives in Maine Quality Forum meetings that their goal for MRSA infections is ZERO.  If  the offending hospitals  continue with the inadequate screening, failing to isolate infected or colonized pateints, inadequate precautions, poor to moderate compliance with handwashing and rationing decolonization, this goal is unattainable.

When these inadequate policies prevail and as a  result the  goal of ZERO is rendered unattainable, MRSA infections will continue, with a vengeance.  MRSA thrives on poor technique and inadequate prevention. When you or your loved one gets infected with MRSA and are disabled or die because of it, get a lawyer.  Better yet, network with other victims and pull together a class actions suit!!   Someday, lawyers will take up this cause, unless hospitals smarten up first.

The method is available to bring MRSA rates to ZERO.  It is called Active Detection and Isolation.  Maine Hospitals have chosen to ignore that scientifically proven method at this time.

Litigation rather than legislation may be what motivates hospitals to STOP MRSA NOW!!!

I must note here, that money is not my motivation.  I am spending my husband’s pension and some of our savings on my advocacy work.  I collect no salary, take no donations and I ask for nothing.  All I want is safer hositals and ZERO MRSA infections.  I believe that is a noble and honest goal.

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