Title: Book Offers Tips for 'Survival' in H ospitals Word Count: 398 Summary: If you've watched a TV show with a hospital setting, you might have a notion - albeit exaggerated - of ho w the interactions between patients and doctors can create dramatic sc enarios. Keywords: Book Offers Tips for 'Survival' in H ospitals Article Body: If you've watched a TV show with a hospital setting, you might have a notion - albeit exaggerated - of ho w the interactions between patients and doctors can create dramatic sc enarios. A new book written by a doctor-nurs e couple says similar dramas are pl aying out in real life. It warns of how we should be concerned about t he lack of quality care that patien ts can receive in hospitals. "Hospital Battlefield: A Field Manu al For Survival," written by Lynne and Joseph Golonka, explains that i nside knowledge and a lot of questi oning will go a long way toward imp roving health care in the U.S. While being critical of hospitals - to the point of receiving their fa ir share of backlash from the medic al establishment - the Golonkas are quick to stress that the power to make change begins with the patient. "We want to stir up this closed-hos pital system, not fight health care professionals," says Lynne, a regi stered nurse. The real enemy, she says, is illnes s. The book gives practical advice to help patients avoid hospital err ors and infections and ensure a qui ck and safe recovery. The "going into battle" metaphor is not intended to pit patients again st doctors and nurses in a war-like fashion, the authors explain. But it does convey the urgency of "surv ival" within an imperfect system. Chapters titled "Securing Allies" a nd "Chain of Command" are not diffi cult to equate with possible traps and troubles in hospitals. But the self-help guide is also peppered wi th medical-themed cartoons for a to ngue-in-cheek approach to some of t he challenges patients face along t he way. Yet the issue itself is a serious o ne, and the authors say preparation must be made for potential hospita lization. Some questions and ideas raised include: * What are the right questions to a sk medical professionals? Specifica lly, to whom do you address the que stions and how do you ask them? * Why is it so important to demand accountability from hospitals? * What is one of the major reasons health insurance medical directors deny claims? Ultimately, the book presents a rea listic view of hospital health care and cites a surprising 1999 study as the basis of its argument. As ma ny as 98,000 die in hospitals each year as a result of serious medical errors, according to the Institute of Medicine. The Golonkas say that progress to i mprove the hospital system has been slow, and therefore they urge pati ents and families to be ready for b attle.