The Dirty Truth: Spread the Word, not the Germ

A Consumer Reports national poll found that almost 9 in 10 Americans (88%) said the public should have access to federally collected information about problems with doctors.

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Seeking safe healthcare for her cancer treatment, patient safety advocate--Kathy Day of Maine--recalls the transparency hurdles she faced when she asked a hospital for its infection rates.

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Guest blog post by John T. James, Ph.D. founder of Patient Safety America, a website created to provide information to patients or potential patients who are concerned about the quality of health care they receive in this country.

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Meet the eleven consumer advocates who will be attending a U.S. Department of Health & Human Services (HHS)hospital infection meeting this week.

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Hospital infection survivor and "numerator," Kerry O'Connell describes the emotional and physical impact of hospital infection on patients and calls for more empathy and honesty from our health care providers.

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Hospital infections leave a lasting impact on the individuals and families who had to experience them. For Mary Brennan-Taylor, hospital infections took the life of her mother, Alice Brennan, who passed away in 2009 after entering the hospital for pain and swelling in her leg.

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New York swine flu patient dies from a hospital-acquired infection in a local ICU where she had been successfully treated for swine flu.

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The IOM released a report last week reviewing the 510(k) medical device approval process. The report finds that the current FDA process “lacks the legal basis to be a reliable premarket screen of the safety and effectiveness” of devices.

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Last week, California hospitals lost their bid to avoid reporting their infection rates to the public. A California judge upheld a 2008 state law – one of the strongest in the nation - that calls on hospitals to report infections occurring from a broad array of surgeries.

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Join the Chicago Tribune for a live web chat at noon CT (1 p.m. ET/10 a.m. PT) on Tuesday, June 7, to chat about hospital safety with Tribune reporter Judy Graham, and panelists Empowered Patient Coalition's Dr. Julia Hallisy and Consumers Union's Safe Patient Project Director Lisa McGiffert.

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Hear advice from consumer advocates on patient safety.

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Patient safety activist identifies errors in JAMA article; JAMA corrects it. Guest blog post by John James.

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Medical recalls can indicate potential risk of serious injury or death to patients, but they often go unnoticed.

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It only takes three things for a hospital superbug to infect a patient. Should you be concerned?

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On Saturday, October 9, the Empowered Patient Coalition along with Consumers Union’s Safe Patient Project and AARP California will be holding a special training in San Diego for patients and caregivers on how to stay safe in the hospital.

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It’s the start of flu season and you might be worried about the spread of germs. We’re worried too. Consumers Union’s Safe Patient Project released a report today that found nearly half of all hospital workers in California didn’t get flu shots during the 2008-2009 flu season.

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Last week’s good news of a decline in serious MRSA health care-acquired infections, is a victory for patient safety, but we still have a long way to go to eliminate this very preventable crisis.

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Soon it will be easier for you to find out how well your hospital prevents certain infections. As part of the new health care reform law, the Department of Health and Human Services will require hospitals to publicly disclose several types of dangerous hospital infections.

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On June 16, Consumers Union’s Safe Patient Project and 11 patient safety advocates from 10 states attended the first “Consumer Conversation on Healthcare-Associated Infections” at the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) in Atlanta.

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A bill in California (SB 1390) would create a minimum of 12-point font for the most crucial information on medication labels and would require translation of medication label information into commonly used non-English languages.

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Guest blog post from Kerry O’Connell of Conifer, Colorado. Kerry is a member of the Colorado Health Facility Acquired Infections Advisory Committee. A committed patient safety advocate, he calls for restoring empathy and compassion in health care.

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This week the federal Centers for Disease Control and Prevention issued a state-specific report (not hospital specific) on rates of central line-associated bloodstream infections (CLABSIs) in the ICU as collected by its National Healthcare Safety Network (NHSN), a monitoring system that looks at hospital infections across the nation.

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An innovative "checklist" to reduce central line bloodstream infections in intensive care units has had incredible success in hospitals where it's been adopted.

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Guest blog by Lori Nerbonne of NH Patient Voices--Death certificates are the primary source of important vital statistics in our country – yet too many certificates fail to tell the whole story.

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Since 2006, California lawmakers have passed laws to improve patient safety, yet the California Department of Public Health (CDPH) has been moving at turtle speed to enforce these laws.

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