SPRINGFIELD, Mo. -- Health care is a complex industry. It's unique. A single mistake made by the staff could seriously injure you or possibly kill you.
Contact KY3 examined what Consumer Reports has to say about Cox and Mercy hospitals, as well as how Missouri laws help protect you from deadly infections. Digging deeper, we found a type of error that can't be found in a report because it isn't public knowledge.
"We go into this field to take care of people and do the best job we can," said Vicki Good, a nurse who is CoxHealth's director of patient safety.
Doctor visits, blood tests, CAT scans, and therapy -- going to a hospital can be overwhelming, especially when it comes to medication.
"I do think we have an opportunity to do a better job in explaining medications to patients," said Dr. Alex Hover, Mercy Health System's senior vice-president of Clinical Excellence.
"Medication labels were confusing for them to read," said Good.
According to Consumer Reports, Cox and Mercy hospitals fall short when it comes to explaining exactly what the patient is taking and what possible side effects it comes with.
"Standardization is one of the key ways hospitals have been able to make hospitals safer," said Good.
Both hospitals admit there have been problems, and creating a medication labeling standard across the board is improving the situation.
Another area of concern, according to Consumer Reports, is communication about discharge -- what you need to know when you go home.
"We've standardized that in terms of the person-discharged instructions. I think our results have been better," said Hover.
"Do we deliver that electronically? Do we deliver that in paper form? How do we reiterate that message on every encounter with that patient?" said Good, listing some of the things that health providers think about before a discharge.
Thanks to a Missouri law, the Missouri Hospital Infection Control Act of 2004, health care facilities have to report how many infections patients get while in the hospital.