OBJECTIVES: The study examined the extent to which patients in the Czech Republic are involved in decisions regarding their treatment and whether they are interested in ensuring safety during hospitalization.
METHODS: Patients were interviewed to determine their perspectives regarding the previously stated objectives. The sample consisted of 514 patients who had been admitted to hospital for a minimum of three days.
RESULTS: It is clear that patients in the Czech Republic are unaware of safety issues associated with provided care, but 52.2% of respondents expressed a desire to be more involved in decisions pertaining to their treatment. Widowed patients, as well as those hospitalized for more than six days, expressed less of a desire for such involvement. Half of the patients enrolled in the study stated that health care professionals had encouraged them to ask questions about their treatment. With regard to errors associated with surgical reversals, 58.3% of respondents stated that nursing staff had performed checkups to avoid confusion in surgery. Another patient safety issue is nosocomial infection acquired through improper hand-washing techniques of medical personnel. 73.5% of patients said they would not have the courage to ask medical staff (doctors or nurses) whether they had washed their hands prior to examination.
CONCLUSION: Patients in the Czech Republic are unaware of the safety issues associated with provided care, but more than half expressed a desire to be more involved in decisions that pertain their treatment.