Dr. Oz's Smart Patient Checklist
- Ask people to wash their hands before touching you.
- Keep hand sanitizer by your bed.
- Try to avoid bacteria-promoting items, like flowers and jewelry.
- Ask doctors to clean their stethoscopes. "Did you ever think where the stethoscope was before he examined you?" Dr. Oz says. "It was on someone else's chest, and that same bacteria gets carried to you."
- Clean television remotes.
- Ask a doctor to remove his tie, or else tuck it into his shirt. "How many men here have ever washed their tie?" Dr. Oz says. "Nobody. No one washes a tie. Doctors don't either."
One way a patient can prevent this kind of "wrong-site surgery" error is a simple as writing a note. "If you're going to have surgery on your left arm, write 'Operate on this arm' [on your left arm]," Dr. Oz says.
Don't distract your doctor
Choose a high-tech hospital
Do your research
Resources to find the right doctor for you
Get to know your hospitalist
Meet the new providers of primary medical care
"They know all the programs and the protocols. They're going to work closely with you to make sure you get what you need done," Dr. Oz says. "Find that person, learn who they are and work with them. That's the person that's going to help you get out of there quickly."
Make yourself into a smart patient