AHRQ’s Web M&M Probes Safety and Security Risks of Patient Wandering
The current issue of AHRQ Web M&M features a Spotlight Case about a 74-year-old man with a history of congestive heart failure secondary to alcoholic dilated cardiomyopathy who was admitted to a hospital for management of alcohol withdrawal. After several days of aggressive treatment, the patient was improving and was being managed on the medical-surgical floor. Initially he experienced confusion due to alcohol withdrawal, but by his sixth day in the hospital, his mental status was clear and he was expected to be discharged. That morning, feeling “cooped up,” he left the hospital grounds without informing any of the health care providers on his floor. About an hour later, he returned to his room with a fractured arm. After the radiology results were revealed to him, he acknowledged that he had fallen while he was off the floor, and the institution began to consider a policy regarding patients leaving the unit. Also featured is an audio conversation with Dave deBronkart – also known as e-Patient Dave – co-founder and co-chair of the Society for Participatory Medicine, about engaging patients in their care and allowing patients to access their medical records. The Perspective section of the issue features an article by Helen Haskell, M.A., of Mothers Against Medical Error, describing the evolution of the patient advocacy movement.