Health Is Social

Infusing Social Media into Healthcare

Just Say No to Hospitals!

Hospitals are examples and metaphors for the iatrogenesis of our entire provision of health care.


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  • Go Phil! Ain’t iatrogenic medicine fun!!

    This death rate from nosocomial infections equals a 9/11 every eleven days.

    An estimated two million cases of nosocomial infections occur each year in the US. Each case extends the patient’s stay by an average of five days. That’s ten million patient days per year. To crunch the numbers even further, the American Hospital Association (AHA) states there are about 5,800 registered hospitals in the US, with about 951,000 beds. On average, for each 100 beds that a hospital has:

    it will see 210 cases of nosocomial infections a year.
    This will create 1,050 additional patient days per year,
    which will fill 2.89 patient beds year around
    and will see 10.5 patients die each year. Some will be infants.

    • The rates are out of control.

      I think we also need to extend the concept of iatrogenesis to the problems *at large*. It’s as if the entire ‘system’ (I use that word loosely) is iatrogenic.

      – Phil

      • Angela Espejo

        Agree with you there, Phil. I’m spending this semester in an internship working on IM/IT infrastructure in general and change management/implementation strategy for an EHR in particular. Many workflow and sociocultural challenges we come across can be conceptualized as rooted in the health system’s historical functioning and current state of work.