The mission of Washington Advocates for Patient Safety (WAPS) is to promote accountability, quality, safety, and responsibility in patient care. As the voice of patients, their goals are to eliminate medical errors and harm and to save more lives.
State Disclosure Reports
- Washington Hospital Association Hospital Infection report
- Washington Healthcare-Associated Infection Program
Consumers Union Documents
- Presentations from the Consumers Union/Washington Advocates for Patient Safety Meeting
Washingtonians: Become Safe & Savvy Health Care Consumers! Joint Presentation by: Consumers Union – Safe Patient Project Washington Advocates for Patient Safety September 30, 2013 CU Safe Patient Project and hip and knee warranty campaign overview-Lisa McGiffert, Suzanne Henry CU storytelling and social media-Daniela Nunez WA advocates for patient safety overview- Yanling Yu Transparency and Accountability Continue Reading
- Consumers Union and Washington Advocates for Patient Safety comments on the WA hospital infection reporting program
Consumers Union and Washington Advocates for Patient Safety submitted comments on the WA Dept of Health legislative draft report on the hospital infection reporting program.
- Letter to WA governor on House Bill 1471, hospital infection reporting
CU strongly urges the Governor to stand with consumers and ensure that current reporting on infections associated with hip and knee replacement and cardiac surgeries is retained in the law.
- Stop the rollback of Washington’s hospital infection reporting law!
Your Washington lawmaker is voting soon to take away your right to know important life-or-death information in your state!
- WA Bills Remove Critical Hospital Infection Reports from the Public View
Consumers Union statement on the regressive bills.
- State Medical Error Report Links
Reports from the states with laws requiring public reporting of medical errors.
- Testimony of Elizabeth M. Imholz, Consumers Union Special Projects Director before CA Senate Health Committee
Stopping the occurrence of medical harm
- CU testifies at Senate hearing about California’s lax enforcement of patient safety laws
Testimony of Elizabeth M. Imholz, Special Projects Director; Consumers Union before California Senate Health Committee; October 20, 2010
- Consumers Union “To Err Is Human, To Delay Is Deadly” Webcast
On November 17, 2009, Consumers Union hosted a forum in Washington DC based on the 10-year anniversary of the Institute of Medicine (IOM) 1999 study on medical harm challenging our health system’s progress on preventing medical harm 10 years later. We released a report earlier in the year on this
- State Hospital Infection Public Reporting Laws
Summary of state laws hospital infection reporting laws.
Consumers Union News Releases
- Governor Inslee Signs Bill to Strengthen Washington’s Hospital Infection Law
Washington Hospital Association Had Urged the Governor To Veto Key Patient Safety Provision
- Washington Bills Undermine Efforts to Hold Hospitals Accountable For Preventing Hospital Acquired Infections
Washington House & Senate Health Committees Vote to Roll Back Public Reporting of Hospital Infections / Bills Undermine Efforts to Hold Hospitals Accountable For Preventing Hospital Acquired Infections
- Consumers Union Urges Congress to Strengthen Medical Device Oversight
Consumers Union urged Congress today to strengthen the law that governs the approval of medical devices to ensure
- Consumers Union: Public Should Have Full Access to Doctor Database, Including Names of Problem Physicians
Consumer Reports Poll: Almost 9 in 10 Americans Say Public Should Have Access to Information Collected by Feds on Doctors
- CU urges HHS to restore online doctor database
HHS decision to remove online access runs counter to Administration pledge to promote transparency
- Consumers Union Statement on IOM Medical Device Study
The medical device industry lobby has criticized a report on medical device regulation before it was published.
- Consumers Union: IOM Report Urges More Consumer Protection for Medical Devices
The report that found thousands of medical devices are allowed to go on the market without proper testing for safety.
- Governor Gregoire Signs Bill To Create More Transparency When Patients File Complaints Against Health Care Workers
When Patients File Complaints Against Health Care Workers Washington Law Could Serve As A Model For Other States.
- HHS Announces National Campaign to Improve Patient Safety
CONSUMERS UNION SAFE PATIENT PROJECT — NEWS RELEASE Please Note: Consumers Union can connect reporters with patients who have suffered from hospital infections and other medical harm. To find out more, contact Michael McCauley at firstname.lastname@example.org For Immediate Release: Tuesday, April 12, 2011 Contact: Michael McCauley (email@example.com), 415-902-9537 (cell), 415-431-6747,
- WA Bill Would Create More Transparency When Patients File Complaints Against Health Care Workers
Patients who file complaints against doctors and other health care providers would be able to find out more information about their complaints.
- Endangered Patients: WA Consumer Forum Explores Ending Medical Harm
Consumers Union’s Safe Patient Project and Washington Advocates for Patient Safety (WAPS) teamed up to host a patient safety forum at the Seattle Public Library to explore ideas for ending patient harm and what consumers can do to protect themselves from medical errors, hospital infections and failed hip and knee implants. About thirty-five people heard Continue Reading
- Washington Governor Inslee Sides with Consumers on Hospital Infection Bill
Great news! Earlier this week in Washington State, Governor Jay Inslee stood with consumers by signing a bill into law that keeps current reporting on infections associated with hip and knee replacements and cardiac surgeries. The bill also requires hospitals to report on additional types of infections.
- Washington Advocates for Patient Safety participate in Patient Safety Day
Last month on July 25, members of the Washington Advocates for Patient Safety (WAPS) commemorated Patient Safety Day in their home state of Washington by joining several people working on health care issues in the state and giving a voice to patients who have experienced preventable medical harm.
- 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.
- My Tweet to Secretary Sebelius
In 140 characters on Twitter, I asked a serious question about hospital-acquired infections.
- Medicare releases data on hospital readmissions
The Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS) announced last Thursday that it has added readmission rates for more than 4,000 hospitals across the U.S to its Hospital Compare website. With proper care, most people should not have to go back to the hospital shortly after release. This is a key indicator of quality and varies a lot between hospitals.
- VA officials get probed for using non-sterile instruments on patients
U.S. lawmakers held a hearing a few weeks ago to figure out why VA officials still weren’t following proper procedures for cleaning endoscopes that put more than 11,000 veteran patients at risk.
- Not Another Ten Years
Our new report “To Err is Human – To Delay is Deadly” calls attention to the IOM’s unfulfilled call to action.
- Former skeptic believes in preventing hospital infections
A few years ago, Dr. Manoj Jain was skeptical of hospital infection reduction—thinking hospital infections were the norm for ICU patients
- MRSA series: Culture of Resistance
The Seattle Times’ new three-part series on MRSA, the antibiotic-resistant superbug that’s killing thousands of hospital patients every year made me want to wash my hands over and over like Lady Macbeth.
- How A Recalled Medical Device Killed A Vet At Seattle's VA Hospital Source: KUOW (Thursday December 5, 2013)
Seattle jazz musician Eddie Creed dies at a VA hospital after receiving a lethal morphine overdose from a recalled medical device.
- Local plastic surgeon calls syringe warning "inaccurate” Source: KREM (Tuesday October 1, 2013)
KREM reports: “A licensing inspection at the Aesthetic Plastic Surgical Center found that staff had been improperly using syringes and drug vials and putting patients at risk of infection according to health officials.”
- Sponges, Tools And More Left Inside Washington Hospital Patients Source: KUOW (Thursday August 1, 2013)
KUOW reports: “About 30 times a year, a hospital in Washington state leaves a sponge or surgical instrument inside one of its patients. The accident known as a “retained foreign object” is one of the state’s most commonly reported medical mistakes.”
- Drs. Yanling Yu and Rex Johnson share their family's medical harm story with University of Washington Source: University of Washington (Sunday June 30, 2013)
Washington Advocates for Patient Safety members, Yanling Yu and Rex Johnson, shared their family’s medical harm story with a University of Washington panel of over 100 future health professionals so they could learn how to keep patients safe through patient-centered care and shared-decision making.
- Law to keep hospitals reporting infections Source: Seattle Times (Tuesday May 21, 2013)
“Hospitals must continue reporting infections from hip- and knee-replacement procedures and cardiac surgery, Gov. Jay Inslee said Tuesday, despite opposition by hospitals and state health officials.”
- Gov. Inslee rebuffs state hospitals, signs all of infection-reporting bill’s elements Source: News Tribune (Tuesday May 21, 2013)
“Gov. Jay Inslee rejected pressure from the Washington State Hospital Association and signed a bill into law Tuesday that requires much broader reporting of patient infections that happen during care in hospitals.” Consumers Union’s Safe Patient Project Director, Lisa McGiffert, quoted.
- Hospitals fight to limit reports on infections Source: The News Tribune (Tuesday May 21, 2013)
“Consumers Union and the Washington State Hospital Association are still tangling over legislation approved unanimously by the Legislature to require more reporting by hospitals when patients develop infections during care.”
- Malpractice sought after surgeon operates on wrong eye Source: KATU (Thursday March 14, 2013)
Physician operates on wrong eye; will settle but not publicly admit mistake
- Advocacy group wants infection-data law left alone Source: The News Tribune (Sunday February 24, 2013)
News Tribune: “Six years after a landmark state law forced Washington hospitals to publicly report the rates at which their patients were catching serious infections while in care, Washington lawmakers are tinkering with the law. And that worries a major consumer advocacy group, Consumers Union.”
- Op-ed: The culture of health-care secrecy harms patients Source: Seattle Times (Wednesday December 26, 2012)
A former nurse writes about the inside knowledge she had about a doctors and other nurses concerning their performance history, including medical errors. But patients don’t have access to that same information.
Research and Reports
- Washington Advocates for Patient Safety Additional Comments on WA hospital infection draft report Source: Washington Advocates for Patient Safety (Friday July 12, 2013)
Washington Advocates for Patient Safety Additional Comments on Draft Report “Healthcare Associated Infections: 2013 Report to the Washington Legislature” by the Washington Department of Health.
- First Do No Harm
“Last year there wasn’t a single fatal airline accident in the developed world. So why is the U.S. health care system still accidently killing hundreds of thousands? The answer is a lack of transparency.”
- Washington Healthcare-Associated Infection Program
Washington Healthcare-Associated Infection Program
- A Record Year for the Pharmaceutical Lobby in '07
Washington’s largest lobby, the pharmaceutical industry, racked up another banner year on Capitol Hill in 2007, backed by a record $168 million lobbying effort, according to a Center for Public Integrity analysis of federal lobbying data.