More than a million people are getting sick from infections they're picking up in the hospital, according to the Centers for Disease Control. A startling new survey of hospital nurses reveals cleanliness is a big problem.
The study was conducted by Consumer Reports National Research Center.
It shows a troubling 28% of nurses say they've seen problems with cleanliness in the past week.
"We surveyed more than 700 nurses nationwide who work in operating rooms, emergency rooms, critical-care units, and other areas of the hospital," said Consumer Reports Nancy Metcalf.
Even something as basic as hand washing was a problem.
26% of nurses said hospital staff did not always wash their hands.
"It is critically important that you see the doctor or nurse clean their hands when they come into the room." said Metcalf. "And if you don't see it, you have to ask."
And problems don't' stop with cleanliness.
11% of nurses surveyed said they'd seen medicine incorrectly administered in the previous week.
So you want to make a point of asking what you're being given, and how much.
Nurses also suggest bringing a list of medications with you when you come to the hospital, including over-the-counter and dietary supplements.
Coordination of care is another top problem, according to the Consumer Reports' nurse survey.
To help keep track of different treatments and staff involved in your care, work closely with a a health advocate, social worker, or case manager.
It also helps to have a relative or friend with you who can look out for your interests when you're not able to.