Bergers Book Reviews

The Empowered Patient


Author: Dr. Julia A. Hallisy
Publisher: Bold Spirit Press
Genre: Medical / Health & Fitness
ISBN: 978-0-6151-7791-5
Pages: 351
Price: $25.95

Author’s website
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If you or a loved one have ever had an extended hospital stay or been treated for a long-standing illness, you’ve likely run into problems in the medical establishment. Author Dr. Julia A. Hallisy has experienced many of these incidents in the ten-year treatment of her daughter’s cancer, and she shares the wisdom she acquired in The Empowered Patient.

The first step in becoming a savvy medical consumer is knowing who you’re talking to. Therefore, she begins by introducing all the titles of the various personnel you’re likely to encounter in a hospital, along with their roles and responsibilities.

those who are ill are more susceptible to infection, so one chapter is devoted to prevention of hospital-acquired (nosocomial) infections. Along with the precautions family and hospital staff can take, reporting infections to the right hospital personnel can help prevent future problems. Although much of this information was helpful, as a “green” reviewer, I was disturbed by the author’s insistence that only toxic and harmful chemical disinfectants should be used. If I were a patient, I would not find the spraying of toxic fumes around me to be helpful in my recovery.

Errors occur more frequently than most of us would feel comfortable with, so the patient and family members need to be extra vigilant in making sure all care received is appropriate. Second opinions are encouraged for diagnoses and treatment options, to be sure the patient is comfortable with the procedure he’s signed on for.

Hospital paperwork can be daunting, so the author explains exactly what a consent form allows the hospital to do, and how you can be sure your needs are met. And if you need to see or even alter your medical records, she explains the procedure to handle your request.

Dr. Julia A. Hallisy was able to help others navigate the medical scene during the time she cared for her daughter, and now she’s sharing her acquired knowledge with the rest of us in The Empowered Patient. Reading this well-written and well-researched book before you face a crisis will surely prepare you to get through one as smoothly as possible.

Reviewer: Alice Berger

July 22, 2008 - Posted by | health

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