New England patient safety activists form New England Voices For Error Reduction (NEVER), a group that aims to work regionally for safe health care.
Part 2: New York patient safety advocate, Mary Brennan-Taylor, interviewed about the death of her mother due to multiple medical errors and her work giving patient safety lectures at the University at Buffalo. Part 1 here.
New York patient safety advocate, Mary Brennan-Taylor, interviewed about the death of her mother due to multiple medical errors and her work giving patient safety lectures at the University at Buffalo.
As Congress considers reauthorizing a law that sets the fees for medical device makers, venture capitalists are emerging as a rich and influential ally of device companies eager to remove what they say are regulatory roadblocks in the approval process.
Parents in New York will now be able to get certificates of stillbirth.
Each year C. diff. infections (CDIs) claim the lives of what may be hundreds of New Yorkers, from toddlers to seniors. Thousands more face life-altering bouts with the disease, often acquired in health care settings and resistant to common medications.
NYT coverage of the Joint Commission report on hospital process measures. Consumers Union Safe Patient Project Director, Lisa McGiffert, quoted: "Highlight the poorest performers."
Due to losing state funding and pressure from industry groups, this may be the last year that a New York hospital quality nonprofit group can produce an annual state hospital report card.
An analysis of federal data by The New York Times indicates that the Food and Drug Administration has received more than 5,000 reports since January about several widely used devices known as metal-on-metal hips, more than the agency had received about those devices in the previous four years combined.
By the time they graduate, every doctor coming out of the University at Buffalo will have gotten a lesson from Mary Brennan-Taylor. Mary lost her mother to hospital infections and the use of numerous medications.
NY patient safety advocate, Martha Deed, shares her story about her daughter's untimely death due to hospital acquired infection and her calling to make hospitals safer.
New York Times editorial on medical devices, following the Institute of Medicine report released last week that found that the FDA process for approving medical devices to market is flawed and does not ensure the safety or effectiveness of most devices.
After losing her mother to medical error, patient safety advocate is named a University of Buffalo adjunct research instructor. Mary is active with CU's Safe Patient Project campaign.
Carl Elliott: "In a typical seeding trial, a pharmaceutical company will identify several hundred doctors and invite them to take part in a research study. Often the doctors are paid for each subject they recruit. As the trial proceeds, the doctors gradually get to know the drug, making them more likely to prescribe it later."
The medical device industry is crawling over Washington in an attempt to discredit an upcoming Institute of Medicine report that could propose a tougher approval process for a wide range of devices like hip implants, hospital pumps and external heart defibrillators.
FDA rejects diabetes drug due to a possible increased risk of breast and bladder cancers.
This study shows that, in even the most challenging cases, infections can be prevented or minimized significantly.
The government should follow through on proposals to require fact boxes, similar to those that appear on food packaging, in every ad drug makers produce and along with every package of medication they sell.
Connecticut Medical Examining Board recently voted to allow a Stamford physician to resume practicing medicine in the state. Berken is a registered sex offender in Connecticut and New York
An outbreak of C difficile infections at United Memorial Medical Center is being linked to the death of three patients.
The Board of Medical Examiners in New Jersey, which is responsible for licensing doctors practicing in the state, said on Tuesday that it had disciplined three orthopedic surgeons because they did not disclose their personal financial interests in the success of an artificial spinal disk they were studying in clinical trials that were used by federal regulators to approve the disk.
A study of the Veterans Affairs hospitals found that a MRSA prevention program yielded significant results. If other hospitals could replicate the effort, thousands of patients might be saved from needless infections acquired after they entered the hospital.
NYT Columnist Maureen Dowd shares her story about her brother contracting four infections in the ICU, and the challenge of asking your doctors and nurses to wash their hands before touching you or your loved ones.
A four-year MRSA prevention program yields significant results--CDC should make MRSA screening a tier one prevention category.
95 percent of patients at University Medical Center of Southern Nevada who had a heart device implanted there got one made by Biotronik. Company documents reviewed by the New York Times revealed that, in mid-2008, Biotronik hired several cardiologists who implant heart devices at the Las Vegas hospital as consultants, paying them fees that may have reached as high as $5,000 a month.
NY Times on study re treating children with MRSA skin infections
Some experts warn that there are too few safeguards to protect patients against those who should no longer be practicing.
Article by Marshall Allen after attending Consumers Union's Safe Patient Project 2010 summit.
A federal district judge in Washington has upheld the disbarment of three former top executives of the company that made the prescription painkiller OxyContin, ruling that they should still be prohibited from involvement in any government-financed health care program.
A C-HIT review found that Connecticut often takes no action against doctors who are disciplined in nearby Massachusetts, Rhode Island and New York, in contrast to medical boards in those other states, which are quick to impose their own reciprocal sanctions after Connecticut takes disciplinary action.
Medical radiation harm can do serious damage to patients and it is unclear what safety measures are in place to prevent future harm.
Arthur Levin, a member of the Institute of Medicine committee that released “To Err Is Human” almost 11 years ago: "The news that patients are no safer in the hospital today than they were a decade ago should send a strong message to all of those responsible for keeping patients safe from preventable harm to do more, faster."
A medical error turned a routine surgury into a horror story for a New York woman.
An example of the behavior of ghostwriting by the drug industry and the influence of companies’ marketing on medical practices.
A new study conducted from 2002 to 2007 in 10 North Carolina hospitals, found that harm to patients was common and that the number of incidents did not decrease over time. The most common problems were complications from procedures or drugs and hospital-acquired infections. Click here to view the study.
New report on medical harm released by the Office of Inspector General for the Department of Health and Human Services finds that in a single month (October 2008), 134,000 Medicare patients experienced at least one adverse event, ranging from a temporary health setback to death, during a hospital stay.
With superbugs getting smarter everyday, the development of new antibiotics is considered by health care stakeholders.
"GlaxoSmithKline, the British drug giant, has agreed to pay $750 million to settle criminal and civil complaints that the company for years knowingly sold contaminated baby ointment and an ineffective antidepressant — the latest in a growing number of whistle-blower lawsuits that drug makers have settled with multimillion-dollar fines."
"In the past month, the Food and Drug Administration has concluded that in some cases two types of drugs that were supposed to be preventing serious medical problems were, in fact, causing them...The difficulty is in figuring out how to assess the safety of drugs that will be taken for decades, when the clinical trials last at most a few years."
The Food and Drug Administration vowed Thursday to reverse the approval of a patch for injured knees that it granted in 2008 after being pressured by four New Jersey congressmen and its own commissioner. Read the FDA's report here.
Article about the surge in antipsychotic prescriptions and the aggressive marketing tactics that's fueled such growth.
Link to article about hospital infection rates in Suffolk County/Long Island.
In the New York analysis, there were 84 cases of foreign objects left behind after surgery, only four fewer than the previous year. These include items like sponges, clamps, scissors, catheter tips, drill bits, needles and more.
Is it necessary to rush men with prostate cancer to the operating room?
You may know Consumer Reports for rating cars and toasters, but CR has begun rating surgical doctor groups.
Editorial on NY rates declining in the latest public report: “Simply put, there is every indication that New York's hospitals are cleaner and safer as a result of this law.”
Essay on the human suffering involved with infected patients who have to be isolated for infection control.
Two Texas nurses were fired after anonymously reporting a doctor for improper medical treatment. The nurses were acquitted by a jury and the doctor will be tried for numerous violations found by the state medical board.
Feeding tube hospital errors causing serious injury or death signal problems with hospitals, medical device companies and FDA.
New York Times investigation on radiation overdoses during CT brain perfusion scans, and the long-term risks radiation overdoses can have on patient health. The FDA began an investigation but has yet to provide a final report on what it found.
"Diagnosing the earliest stage of breast cancer can be surprisingly difficult, prone to both outright error and case-by-case disagreement over whether a cluster of cells is benign or malignant, according to an examination of breast cancer cases by The New York Times."
The New York Times finds that early diagnosis of breast cancer can be prone to error on whether the cells are benign or malignant, leading to unnecessary treatment and psychological distress.
Major drug company is resisting investigation by Congress and FDA for the recent recall of children's Tylenol and pediatric medications.
Potentially deadly infections persist and the overuse and misuse of antibiotics is making infection treatment more difficult.
Even though it's illegal to market drugs for unapproved uses, according to this article about one in five prescriptions in the US are for an off-label use.
More than 30 years ago, a proposal to eliminate the use of common antibiotics to promote growth was shot down by Congress with the help of agribusiness.
Program to screen and treat all surgical patients costs $115 per patient compared $60,000 or more per infection.
"Despite a renewed focus on prevention and threats of governmental sanctions, hospitals continue to see increased rates of post-operative bloodstream infections and catheter-associated urinary tract infections, the Agency for Healthcare Research and Quality reported."
Safety problems at Albany Medical Center Hospital and Glens Falls Hospital landed the two Capital Region facilities on the Hearst Newspapers investigation's "watch list."
This survey was created for patients who have experienced medical harm, their loved ones and their advocates. This survey was created by the Empowered Patient Coalition and we have jointly published this survey on our websites. This survey is designed to answer questions that are important to patients. This is a way for patients to report their experience as they have lived it, and to know that their report will be counted.The Empowered Patient Coalition will be entering the events annonymously on a map so you can see your error and others in your state by clciking on the map.
Interview with Dr. Peter Pronovost, medical director of the Quality and Safety Research Group at Johns Hopkins Hospital in Baltimore and promoter of a patient safety checklist for doctors.
"Some of the nation’s leading orthopedic surgeons have reduced or stopped use of a popular category of artificial hips amid concerns that the devices are causing severe tissue and bone damage in some patients, often requiring replacement surgery within a year or two."
Infections caused by gram-negative bacteria becoming impossible to treat.
A recent report compiled by Consumers Union comparing infection rates reported by hospitals in 2008 showed that Lincoln Medical Center in the Bronx had 44% fewer infections than the national average.
The Consumer Reports Hospital Ratings study, released Tuesday, says North General Hospital's so-called central line infection rate was 394% worse than the national average - and the worst in the city.
Radiation errors can cause severe harm or death for cancer patients.
The owner of two research hospitals affiliated with the Harvard Medical School has imposed restrictions on outside pay for two dozen senior officials who also sit on the boards of pharmaceutical or biotechnology companies. Doctors who sit on Pharma boards can make hundreds of thousands extra pay a year.
Some widely prescribed drugs for depression provide relief in extreme cases but are no more effective than placebo pills for most patients, according to a new analysis released Tuesday in the Journal of American Medical Association.
The Food and Drug Administration is developing guidelines that will set tougher scientific standards for data from tests on humans that makers of medical devices submit when seeking approval of their products, a top agency official said.
Some widely prescribed drugs for depression provide relief in extreme cases but are no more effective than placebo pills for most patients, according to a new analysis released Tuesday.
The policy was approved by the hospital's Infection Control Committee, based on research studies that show that multi drug resistant organisms and other harmful bacteria remain on clothing, such as neckties.
Has our health care system fallen by the wayside?
From NYT:: A growing body of evidence suggests that doctors at some of the nation’s top medical schools have been attaching their names and lending their reputations to scientific papers that were drafted by ghostwriters working for drug companies — articles that were carefully calibrated to help the manufacturers sell more products.
A New York Times commentary, Room for Debate, ran a discussion about prescription drug ads asking whether if they should or should not be reined in as some in Congress have suggested. Of the more than 300 comments the forum generated, it’s official: the overwhelming majority would like to see these ads altered or banned altogether.
"You can't say we weren't warned. And you can't say we've done enough to address those warnings about the degree of avoidable deaths in hospitals in New York and across the country."
The New York Times features several differing viewpoints on prescription drug direct-to-consumer advertising.
Newly unveiled court documents show that ghostwriters paid by a pharmaceutical company played a major role in producing 26 scientific papers backing the use of hormone replacement therapy in women, suggesting that the level of hidden industry influence on medical literature is broader than previously known. The articles, published in medical journals between 1998 and 2005, emphasized the benefits and de-emphasized the risks of taking hormones to protect against maladies like aging skin, heart disease and dementia.
The hospital accreditation experience of a Long Island hospital.
Op-ed by Jim Hall, former chairman of the National Transportation Safety Board. The Obama administration should take a lesson from the transportation safety board’s successes and establish an independent agency charged with identifying and eliminating the causes of medical error.
City-run hospitals faked records and covered up dozens of botched operations, deadly accidents, malpractice and other medical screwups, a Daily News investigation has found.
According to the report, New York hospitals have lower rates of surgical-site infections than hospitals across the rest of the nation, but the same or higher rates of bloodstream infections in intensive care units than those reported nationally.
By one estimate, more than 200 Central New Yorkers die every year from infections they caught while in the hospital.
After too much delay, the agency has put out a report revealing which hospitals in New York are more and which are less likely to discharge you with a nasty bug.
The second annual Hospital-Acquired Infections, New York State 2008 Report presents infection rates identified by hospital name and region for surgical-site infections.
Former Treasury Secretary Paul O'Neil comments on reducing health care costs: "The president says he likes audacious goals. Here is one: ask medical providers to eliminate all hospital-acquired infections within two years."
A federal advisory panel voted narrowly on Tuesday to recommend a ban on Percocet and Vicodin, two of the most popular prescription painkillers in the world, because of their effects on the liver.
With the publication of this report, New York becomes the seventh state in the nation to publicly disclose hospital infection rates by individual hospitals.
NYT story about a Philadelphia VA hospital where many patients received botched cancer treatments.
Single-patient rooms are now viewed as an important element of high-quality health care.
Two annual government reports released Wednesday show that progress in improving the quality of health care and narrowing health disparities among ethnic groups remains agonizingly slow, and that patient safety may actually be declining.
In a scolding report, the nation’s most influential medical advisory group said that doctors should stop taking much of the money, gifts and free drug samples that they routinely accept from drug and device companies. Supports Grassley/Kohl legislation legislation that would require drug and device makers to publicly disclose all payments made to doctors.
Hoping to improve infection control in hospitals, the nation’s top epidemiological societies joined Wednesday with the American Hospital Association and the Joint Commission, which accredits hospitals, to issue a compendium of guidelines for preventing six lethal conditions.
It is good to know that hospitals will no longer profit from their mistakes under a new payment policy just inaugurated by Medicare.
On Wednesday, Medicare will start applying that logic to American medicine on a broad scale when it stops paying hospitals for the added cost of treating patients who are injured in their care.
The new generation of resistant infections is almost impossible to treat.
From now on the NY Department of Health aims at releasing similar data every year for each hospital separately.
Doctors face a 10 percent cut in Medicare payments next week, following the Senate’s failure on Thursday to take up legislation that would have averted the cuts.
Drug and medical device companies should be banned from offering free food, gifts, travel and ghost-writing services to doctors, staff members and students in all 129 of the nation’s medical colleges, an influential college association has concluded.
'They Can Adapt to Virtually any Pressure That We Expose Them To,' Doctors Say
Medicare will limit payments to hospitals for certain avoidable mistakes like catheter-associated urinary tract infections
New York lawmakers consider MRSA screening.
Wash Your Hands
The expansion comes as state health officials have started collecting data on infections from hospitals that it plans to publicize next year for the first time in a report card format.
The explosion in the use of three anti-anemia drugs to treat cancer and kidney patients illustrates much
that is wrong in the American pharmaceutical marketplace. Thanks to big payoffs to doctors, and
reckless promotional ads permitted by lax regulators, the drugs have reached blockbuster status.
In 2004, the year Dr. Allan Collins was chosen as president-elect of the kidney foundation, the pharmaceutical company Amgen, which makes the most expensive drugs used in the treatment of kidney disease, underwrote more than $1.9 million worth of research and education programs led by Dr. Collins.
Drug advertising aimed at consumers, a fast-growing category that reached $4.5 billion last year, will
face hard scrutiny in the new Congress, according to industry critics in both the House and Senate.
Lester M. Crawford, former chief of the FDA was charged yesterday with conflict of interest and lying about stock he and his wife owned in companies the agency regulates.
Numerous studies have shown that hospital personnel wash or disinfect their hands in fewer than half the instances they should.
A new law in New York will require hospitals to make their infection rates public.
Hospital infection kills as many Americans annually as AIDS, breast cancer, and auto accidents combined.
The United States Senate is on the verge of approving legislation that could decrease the quality of hospital care in New York and elsewhere around the country. It needs to take a moment to be sure it doesn't. The Patient Safety and Quality Improvement Act allows hospitals to shield medical error data from public scrutiny. It adopts a popular and plausible theory that holds that doctors will own up to mistakes, thereby improving the practice of medicine, if they feel they are not sacrificing their careers. But the bill may have other, more insidious effects, if critics such as Consumers Union are correct.
Users of WhyNotTheBest.org can now search for and compare data for nearly 1,000 hospitals on the incidence of central line–associated bloodstream infections (CLABSIs)—one of the most lethal hospital-acquired complications. The data show wide variation in CLABSI incidence, in spite of strong evidence on how to prevent them. The updated data is made possible through a partnership among The Commonwealth Fund, The Leapfrog Group, and Consumers Union.
Patient safety advocate, Mary Brennan-Taylor of New York, turns the loss of her mother to hospital-acquired infections into a force for change within the University of Buffalo's medical school. Using her mother's case as a teaching program, UB students looked for evidence-based best practices to understand what went wrong and then acted out the way it could have and should have turned out.
Steps you can take if you are concerned about the quality of care in a NY nursing home.
Steps you can take if you are concerned about your care under a NY physician.
Plans about what the states are supposed to be doing to eliminate hospital acquired infections.
Link to map that highlights antimicrobial resistance issues at the state level.
In 2006, 11,929 cardiac bypass surgeries were performed with a combined in-hospital and 30-day mortality rate of 1.92 percent – down slightly from 2.02 percent in 2005. In 2006, the number of Percutaneous Coronary Interventions procedures increased to 57,944 from 56,058 in 2005. The 2006 combined in-hospital/30-day mortality rate was 0.87 percent.
A comprehensive study issued today by the Office of the Comptroller William C. Thompson Jr., found that many New York City hospitals substantially underreport “adverse events” to the New York State Department of Health (DOH).
The consequences of service deficiencies during off-hours include higher mortality and readmission rates, more surgical complications, and more medical errors. Given the health care industry's renewed focus on ensuring patient safety and providing high-quality medical care, why hasn't the situation changed at the "other hospital"?
Background information on causes, symptoms, treatment, and other resources
The I.C.U., with its spectacular successes and frequent failures, therefore poses a distinctive challenge: what do you do when expertise is not enough?
Peggy Lillis Memorial Foundation works to increase prevention of and minimize death and disability from clostridium difficile infection through education and advocacy.
Christian John Lillis, Co-founder/ Director: firstname.lastname@example.org
Betsy McCaughey has gone on a real tear. Betsy McCaughey, a journalist of distinction and former Lieutenant Governor of New York state, has taken aim at Obamacare and especially Dr. Ezekiel Emanuel, MD, brother to White House Chief of Staff Rahm Emanuel, and in her op-ed piece that's being billed as New York Post Deadly Doctors, she claims that the public health care plan will deny care to the mentally disabled and elderly. However, nothing in the bill has come to light that would indicate she's correct, and the oversight agency for the program would be only be staffed by physicians.http://http:/personalmoneystore.com
I have been in a lot of hospitals on Long Island One of the things that is really amaze me is your treatment between noon & 2pm. All things stop just like in an office if you are on a gurney in hall they just leave you there !
My elderly father, John, was admitted to NUMC in East Meadow, NY. He went in because he had a bladder infection. He then came down with aspiration pneumonia because the medical personnel was not observing the fact that he had difficulty swallowing. He eventually died from the pneumonia but the Nursing home attributed to artheriosclerosis---but he really died from the aspiration pneumonia--the hospital just covered it up! They are very adept at that!
As a disabled WWII vet, 91 years of age, when I moved from downstate N.Y. to Albany, 11 years ago I sought my medical care from the Stratton VA Medical Center. I have had several occasions to write letters of commendations and appreications for the care and the treatment I have been receiving for the past eleven years. In understand there had been troubles in the past, but I have experienced nothing but a caring and ccnerned team of medical professionals. Stratton is a perfect example oiw well the government operates a huge medical facility.
Over 100,000 people died every year in hospitals during the 90s (Ralph Nadar puts the figure at 300,000 a year during the '90s), so what I want to know is what are the demographics of those who died? And I wonder too how "profit" can be seen as the only motive behind physician abuse of patients. If over 3,000,000 died in U.S. hospitals over a decade then it should be easy to conclude that physicians are politically motivated in their exploitation of patients. From my own experience, physicians exploit infectious disease and it is this exploitation that allows them to without a conscience operate unnecessarily on thousands of patients. Like Guliani did for lowering crime in NY by arresting those who jumped the turnstyles for a free subway ride, the government should be prosecuting those physicians who exploit infections for profit (a form a fraud). A couple of successful prosecutions would send a reveberating chill through the entire medical community. It is murder after all. That's what it really is all about. Note: Haven't read your book yet Ms. Gibson but from excerpts it appears to be a little candy-coated. The dark side of a physicians' psyche was apparent to government officials in the '50s when it limited the number of doctors who could graduate from medical school because the government KNEW what they were capable of. To those queazy at the thought of the dark side of physicians' psyche, please note that it is often necessary to have such a psyche if you want your physician to be totally detached as he/she successfully puts a shattered skull together to save a life. That's just how doctors are - which is why universal health care is most certain to be a disaster. The powerless patient must become more knowledgeable too. High school students should be required to take courses in diseases and taught how to recognize what a doctor is doing.