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Mother of Child Cancer Victim Rallies Patient and Families to Guard Against Hidden Dangers in Today's Hospital Care
Date:8/24/2008

xperience something wrong in their hospital experience.

"The current health delivery system is unacceptable," concludes Hallisy, whose daughter suffered a life-threatening infection from surgery. "But armed with the right information, we can unite as the largest, most cost-effective, most powerful grassroots group in history."

Recently featured by NPR's "The Story" and quoted on CNN.com and The Chicago Tribune "Triage" blog, Hallisy reports stories of how ordinary people are excited to learn of the real power they have in dealing with the health care system. In interviews, Hallisy, a San Francisco dentist and mother of two sons, clearly and passionately addresses:

  • What you can do to become an empowered patient. Tips include: 1) Make your primary doctors accountable and accessible, and find out the background and experience of everyone else treating you; 2) Claim your right to maintain access to your medical records and charts, and insist that all care providers write complete, legible entries; 3) Keep your own medical dairy to record every detail of treatment; 4) Study all consent forms and, when necessary, make changes before signing them; 5) Be vigilant about all hospital staff following the dozens of infection control measures discussed in the book.

  • Why the medical establishment resists the idea of patients becoming fully empowered partners in their health care team, even though it's in their best interest. Hallisy reveals the harshly negative emails she has received from hospital administrators, while some medical practitioners admit privately that what she says is true but fear speaking up.
  • How her daughter Kate encouraged her to write The Empowere
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