Danya Institute Inc.

Book Review: The Patient’s Checklist – 10 Simple Hospital Checklists to Keep You Sane, Safe and Organized

Book and Movie Reviews

The Danya Institute and Central East Addiction Technology Transfer Center Network are pleased to present original reviews of books and movies of special interest to our stakeholders.  


 What every hospital patient needs to know

Elizabeth Bailey’s The Patient’s Checklist is more than a book.  It is a tool to empower those who are facing a stay in the hospital and the families who want to support them.

The book starts with a horror story.  The author’s experiences will surely frighten anyone facing their own or a family member’s hospitalization into becoming better prepared for what awaits.  The author’s 81 year-old father went from an active and independent life to an ordeal of steroid induced psychosis, a one-month stay in the hospital and a disastrous commitment to a psychiatric hospital.  This completely preventable chain of events started with an incorrectly prescribed medication and was exacerbated by incompetent and uncoordinated medical treatment in the hospital.  While he eventually recovered, his remaining quality of life was diminished needlessly as a result.

This experience led the author to create a series of checklists to help families and patients navigate the hospital experience. There are many special checklists including ones for before the patient enters the hospital, what to bring, medications, insurance etc.   Since the experience of hospitalization is stressful for all involved, these checklist should prove very useful in helping to ask the right questions and keep track of the many things that should be documented.

Unfortunately the excellent content of this book is delivered in a somewhat shoddy package.  The first page of the review copy was half off its spiral binding.  The cover is made out of a flimsy cardboard that was already a bit dented in shipping.  This is unfortunate, as this is the kind of book that is meant to be carried around and used instead of sitting safely on a bookshelf.  I would recommend taking a few minutes to cover the book in clear contact paper to protect your investment in this useful book.

review by Simone Fary