Booster Shots

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Stealing from hotels is bad enough, but hospitals?

February 10, 2010 | 11:46 am

Whether taking an opportune moment to restock the home linen closet or simply annoyed at the high costs of medical care and looking for revenge, some patients are taking home more than a few IV marks.

A survey of almost 100 hospitals found that 64% have been the victim of theft by patients or their visitors. According to the poll, conducted by the healthcare network VHA, the items most commonly taken were towels, pillows, linens, phones and surgical scrubs.

This is not a huge problem, the association acknowledges, amounting to less than $15,000 a year in losses by many hospitals. But still ... some patients even took TVs. TVs!

Here's the story in the trade publication HealthLeaders.

(The phones don't even work outside the hospital.)

-- Tami Dennis