View Full Version : The role of the press / media in healthcare


Julie
09-28-2007, 05:00 PM
In the UK the government seems increasingly influenced by what the newspapers and more tabloid type TV programmes dictate as important. This week the government announced that hospitals would be 'deep cleaned' and that there would be people to make sure they were properly clean to prevent MRSA. This policy seems to have been generated as a direct result of examples of 'dirty hospitals; portrayed in the media. However, as a medical journal reported today, there are many issues associated with MRSA and also as the press and government ignore, the people contracted to clean hospitals are generally very poorly paid people who can take little pride in their work.

How much do you think policy is guided by the media?

starkissed
09-30-2007, 01:48 AM
I would imagine that it is fairly guided by the media. Patients [customers] are guided by the media, and while each hospital vies for its customers, how are they to defend a poor review by the media? Will the patients choose to go to hospital A, which has been identified as a filty place, or drive a little farther to Hospital B, which seems to have a cleaner environment? And so the hospitals will create these new policies to enact based on the media, and in their next commercial, they can claim to have "the cleanest hospital around" or whatever. It all boils down to where the money is coming from, and as long as people have a choice, guided by the media or not, then I think that hospitals will do whatever it takes in order to keep their customer base, even if it means creating new policies based on media reports.

I think of it in terms as the restaurant review on the evening news. When certain restaurants are identified as "dirty" or with infractions from the dept of health, the business most likely sees a lull until it is confirmed these places have complied with standards. Now if hospitals are in the same type of situation, they have to have the standards created in order to show that they are compliant with the new rules or have corrected the covered infractions.

jojodow
09-30-2007, 02:44 PM
Here in the US, every couple months or so it seems, there will be a story about Hospital acquired MRSA or pneumonia and everyone makes a big deal about it.
Infection control at the hospital will try to "crack down" but nothing really changes. We did the same things we always did, contact precautions, handwashing, etc.
We had an awesome housekeeper on my old unit who was frequently seen dusting the corners and setting off the smoke detector with her cleaning solutions. She did the best job she could do. That unit was originally called the "Infectious Disease" unit so you can imagine what yucky stuff would float around. There's only so much the staff can do but MRSA is everywhere, it's the immunosuppressed that really need to be eductated more in taking precautions. (ie. handwashing, foot care) It wouldn't hurt the HCP staff to be reminded to do the same.

PACNWNURSING
10-12-2007, 02:24 PM
Unfortunately the media plays a big role in the portrayal of nurses. Nurses such as House, and Grays Anatomy or not included or seen as unprofessional unitelligent servants of physicians. Nurses tend to shy away from taking vocal leadership positions on health care. This needs to change. The AMA and physicians have solely taken the lead for too long.

MyOwnWoman
10-13-2007, 01:40 AM
In the US, the insurance company that the patient belongs to is more apt to dictate where a patient goes. If the insurance company will only pay for you to go to the "dirty" hospital, than that's probably where they will go.

Scary but true.

Jess
10-15-2007, 07:44 PM
Unfortunately the media plays a big role in the portrayal of nurses. Nurses such as House, and Grays Anatomy or not included or seen as unprofessional unitelligent servants of physicians. Nurses tend to shy away from taking vocal leadership positions on health care. This needs to change. The AMA and physicians have solely taken the lead for too long.


I totally know what you're saying. The press/media does play a big role in healthcare, from TV news to the newspaper. However, I think they do cover a lot about healthcare and I'm very satisfied with what stories/information they're telling everyday people.

Julie
10-16-2007, 02:53 AM
I'm very satisfied with what stories/information they're telling everyday people

Are you? You don't feel that there is any stretching of the truth or sensationalism going on at all?

In the UK they tend to tell a story by illustrating the experience of just one person. For example there has been a recent story about C Difficile, so they interview a family who have recently lost someone with the infection. How is that representative?

MyOwnWoman
10-16-2007, 01:22 PM
Are you? You don't feel that there is any stretching of the truth or sensationalism going on at all?

In the UK they tend to tell a story by illustrating the experience of just one person. For example there has been a recent story about C Difficile, so they interview a family who have recently lost someone with the infection. How is that representative?


Interesting that you should mention that Julie. The other day I was yelled at by a patient who was "quoting" horror stories that were written in the local paper about a patient who died in the ER from waiting so long. It was a hospital that was clear across the US from the state in which I live. But did that matter? Noooooooooooooooo. Then he quoted that our hospital says we get our patients in and out quickly. Again, he is not correct, it is not our hospital that proclaims that but an Urgent care center two towns over. Then he yells at me stating "well, you say you give good care here at this hospital." I jumped right in, "You bet we do, we treat people who are not breathing first, then those that are having trouble breathing, then we move on to the ones that have no heart beat. We have a priority thing in the ER, Sir. I'm sorry that the ones that are able to come up to the nurses station and yell at the nurses for not giving good care are generally the ones that can wait to be seen." Then I followed up with, "I hope you never find that out personally, but if you happen to come in not breathing, you'll be my top priority."

storknurse05
12-27-2007, 03:28 PM
I think that the press/media have a huge influence on public opinion which ultimately results in an influence on healthcare. The nurses association in my state (which finds its values to be diametrically opposed to those of the ANA in most situations, unfortunately) has been able to use the media to its advantage to gain momentum for safe staffing bills. The unionized RNs in our organization are 100% for safe staffing, but what I think is interesting is that they are able to look past the fact that each contract negotiation which involves a safe staffing clause is a feather in the cap of the union, but that the things that we look for, like better health insurance, better tuition reimbursement, etc get buried beneath the safe staffing issue because the media gets ahold of that issue and focuses on it entirely. When the hospital association gets ahold of the issue and presents it to the media, the tone is very different and public opinion is swayed...making us look greedy. Ultimately we have yet to pass legislation. If we were only focued on what's best for the patient (and by that I am suggesting using recommended ratios based on recent research) and not what is most popular in public opinion we might be able to meet our goals...:curtsey: