In 2001, Patty and David Skolnik spent nearly three years watching their only child, Michael, play victim to a broken system as a result of unnecessary brain surgery. Due to medical error caused by negligence and incompetence, routine expectations of our healthcare system proved ineffective in providing quality medical care and patient safety for 22 year old Michael Skolnik.
State Disclosure Reports
Consumers Union Documents
- State Medical Error Report Links
Reports from the states with laws requiring public reporting of medical errors.
- State’s request for federal (ARRA) funding of plans to fight hospital acquired infections
Links to state grant submissions from the American Reinvestment and Recovery Act stimulus money for hospital-acquired infection plans.
- State Hospital Infection Public Reporting Laws
Summary of state laws hospital infection reporting laws.
- Michael Skolnik Medical Transparency Act
Passed in 2007, Colorado’s Michael Skolnik Medical Transparency Act (Michael’s Law) brings to light vital physician information–such as disciplinary actions and malpractice information–so that if you are ever faced with a decision like the Skolnik family, you will no longer be in the dark.
- Stay safe in the hospital
The January issue of Consumer Reports on Health newsletter tells patients and their relatives how to get the best care and prevent hospital infections and medication errors.
Consumers Union News Releases
- Colorado lawmakers OK bill requiring hospital infection reporting
Lawmakers’ push for infection rate disclosure pays off after two-year campaign
- Consumer voices to be heard at national hospital infection meeting
Meet the eleven consumer advocates who will be attending a U.S. Department of Health & Human Services (HHS)hospital infection meeting this week.
- “Please, don’t infect me”
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.
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.
- In Honor of Patients
Join patient safety advocates across the country tomorrow to observe Patient Safety Day.
- Raise your hand if you’ve had a hospital-acquired infection
More people know about hospital acquired infections and medical errors than you might think, and not just from watching Oprah.
- Patients Right to Know
Colorado Citizens for Accountability has launched its new patient safety website: PatientsRightToKnow.org. It contains a U.S. map where you can find out what physician background reporting is available in your state.
- When being safe is unsafe Source: Durango Herald (Friday February 17, 2012)
Story about Erika Langhart, a 24-year-old Colorado native, whose parents say she died from a birth control ring that was approved by the FDA in 2002. Some studies show that this birth control device (NuvaRing) is associated with potentially fatal pulmonary embolisms.
- Robot Surgery Damaging Patients Rises With Marketing Source: Bloomberg (Monday October 7, 2013)
Bloomberg reports on Colorado patients harmed by robotic surgery. Patients suffered torn or punctured arteries, objects left in the body, nerve damage and one patient died. Robotic surgeries are on the rise fueled by aggressive marketing by doctors, hospitals and the maker of the robot. But robotic surgeries, which are often used to perform hysterectomies, gall bladder removals, prostate cancer treatment, heart valve operations, haven’t been proven to offer significant health benefits compared to standard, less invasive procedures and often cost much more.
- Doctors still practicing despite serious misconduct Source: 9news (Wednesday August 21, 2013)
Safe Patient network member, Patty Snolnik (founder of Colorado’s Citizens for Patient Safety) interviewed by 9news about doctors who are allowed to operate on patients despite having a history of harming patients. Patty’s son Michael was subject to unnecessary brain surgery which led to his death. Patty now advocates for transparency in medical boards and other healing arts boards so consumers have information about their doctors.
- Video: The Doctors interview of Patty Skolnik, Citizens For Patient Safety Source: RGJ.com (Thursday January 31, 2013)
Patty and David Skolnik tragically lost their only son, Michael, from complications after a brain surgery. Since Michael’s death, Patty founded Citizens for Patient Safety, an organization committed to take action to protect our health and safety from medical errors.
- Two Arms, Two Choices: If Only I’d Known Then What I Know Now Source: Health Affairs (Wednesday August 1, 2012)
Disabled by faulty arm surgery and harmed by a hospital-acquired infection, a patient wishes he’d been better informed. Article by Colorado patient safety advocate Kerry O’Connell for Health Affairs.
- Dentist Exposed Thousands To Possible HIV Infection Source: redOrbit (Sunday July 15, 2012)
An ongoing malpractice investigation centering on a Denver, Colorado oral surgeon has uncovered evidence that he reused syringes and needles, potentially putting thousands of patients at risk of contracting hepatitis or the HIV virus, state health officials revealed on Friday.
- Patty Skolnik pushes medical transparency legislation toward the federal level Source: Denver Westword Blogs (Friday March 23, 2012)
Patty Skolnik, founder of Colorado Citizens for Patient Safety profiled as a local Colorado activist for her work to make medical professionals’ histories public in honor of her son Michael, and her mission to make the medical system safer than how she found it.
- Consumer Groups: Medical Devices Need More Oversight Source: Fowler Tribune (Monday February 20, 2012)
Colorado publication: Patient safety advocates are asking Congress to step up the regulation of such medical devices as hip replacements and heart stents. Comments by Lisa McGiffert, Director of Consumers Union’s Safe Patient Project.
- Hospitals' Infection Numbers Flawed Source: Colorado Public Radio (Tuesday January 24, 2012)
CO hospitals’ infection rates checked for first time. Infections under-reported by 33.9%.
- State releases dialysis patient infection rate Source: The Pueblo Chieftain (Friday December 9, 2011)
Over a 12-month period, from April 2010, through March 2011, 664 Colorado dialysis patients suffered some form of infection related to their treatment, according to a report released by the Colorado Department of Public Health and Environment. The report, though, did not break down the numbers by provider making it unhelpful to Colorado consumers looking for information about their local dialysis facilities.
Research and Reports
- Healthcare Professions Profiling Program
Thanks to the Michael Skolnik Medical Transparency Act of 2010, consumers can now search for online profiles of different healthcare professionals.
- DORA Physician Lookup
Look up your Colorado physician’s background on AskDora.Colorado.gov.
- Wrong-Site and Wrong-Patient Procedures in the Universal Protocol Era
Abstract: Colorado study of physician self-reported adverse occurrences finds high frequency of surgical errors despite implementation of a surgical protocol that seeks to prevent them; researchers identified a total of 25 wrong-patient and 107 wrong-site procedures between January 2002 and June 2008.