Monday, January 9, 2012

The Patient’s Checklist”*


Most of us know that whether we are dealing with our own health crises or that of someone close to us, it can be a stressful and overwhelming experience, to say the least.  

But there is a new book out, “The Patient’s Checklist,” by Elizabeth Bailey, that seeks to make the experience a little easier. 

Bailey, who is not a patient herself, but found herself caught in a medical minefield when dealing with the illness of an elderly parent, tries to idiot-proof what can be a complicated and scary maze; with too much information, provided too quickly.  

Bailey used to be a movie producer, and checklists were a must in that profession.  So she took inspiration from that, and created checklists designed specifically for patients and their families. 

And with the harrowing statistics about medical mistakes and mishaps she provides throughout the book, proves that doctors are only human and that while we need to trust them, we also need to pay attention, ask questions, and be attentive when there are seeming inconsistencies in care and treatment. 

The following are the checklists you will find in the book:

1.       Before You Go
2.      What to Bring
3.      During Your Stay
4.      Master Medication List
5.      Daily Medication Log
6.      Daily Journal
7.      Discharge Plan
8.     Insurance
9.      Doctor Contacts
10.  Family & Friends Contacts List

The book is easy to read, and it’s in a handy format that lets it do double-duty as both a reference guide and as a personal record keeper.

You could easily photo copy the lists and create your own health binder, or you can write directly in the book, as she provides several blank copies of all of the lists and logs she presents.    

Throughout, Bailey emphasizes something very simple, but very important: “The person first, the patient second.”    

So often, we are seen as our diseases first, and not seeing the whole person can set us up for critical mistakes and errors to be made.

This book helps put nearly everything you could possibly need for a hospital stay or health crisis right in front of you.  It empowers the patient or patient’s family to be an active member of the healthcare team. 

Bailey’s common sense, no nonsense approach should put anyone, whether patient or caretaker, at ease, that we have the power to take control of our lives and our health. 

* I received a free copy of this book from the publisher, Sterling Publishing Co., Inc.  However, the review presented here is solely based on my opinion of the book.


  1. That book looks helpful! I know I am always afraid of the unknown, and those detailed descriptions of what to expect would definitely help me.

  2. Thank you, Leslie, for writing about my book, The Patient's Checklist. Like you, my goal is to help make the road easier for others. Illness and injury are a part of the human experience and we will all come up against the harsh reality of our current healthcare system sooner or later. We learn from others' stories. My hope is that the user-friendly checklists help patients have a better, safer, more empowered personal story to tell at the end of a hospital stay.