On February of 2010, my father, at the age of 89, was admitted to a hospital in Washington for an evaluation because he started showing signs of slight confusion. At his admission, he was in a fairly good state of health. He did not have any serious life threatening illness. However, he suddenly died at the hospital on the 5th day of his admission
State Disclosure Reports
- Washington Hospital Association Hospital Infection report
- Washington Healthcare-Associated Infection Program
Consumers Union Documents
- 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.
- Mandatory public clinical drug trial registry needed to help ensure prescription drug safety, IOM panel told
Consumers Union statement for today’s public hearing
- 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
- 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 email@example.com For Immediate Release: Tuesday, April 12, 2011 Contact: Michael McCauley (firstname.lastname@example.org), 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.
- Health Care Reform Law Poised to Make Health Care Safer
New Law Includes Important Patient Safety Provisions That Will Save Lives and Health Care Dollars
- 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.
- You Score Higher Marks than Doctors
According to new FDA data, consumers like you make up the majority of drug adverse event reports submitted, replacing physicians.
- Sick in the USA
Our bodies get sick sometimes. But if we look at the American health care system as a living body itself, we’re waiting in the ER. (A review of PBS’s Frontline film “Sick Around the World”)
- 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.
- Morphine dosage error kills elderly patient Source: kirotv (Monday November 19, 2012)
Washington state elderly woman dies due to an overdose of morphine by an unlicensed, unregistered nurse in a nursing home. Yanling Yu of Washington Advocates for Patient Safety quoted.
- Just 1 in 5 medical malpractice cases end in settlements or judgments for patients, study says Source: Washington Post (Wednesday August 17, 2011)
Only 1 in 5 malpractice claims against doctors leads to a settlement or other payout, according to a new study published in the New England Journal Medicine. Most patients who are harmed are not able to pursue a lawsuit.
- Medicare rule would decrease payments to hospitals with high re-admission rates Source: The Washington Post (Saturday July 30, 2011)
In an effort to save money and improve care, Medicare, the federal program for the elderly and disabled, is about to release a final rule aimed at getting hospitals to pay more attention to patients after discharge. This includes cutting back payments to hospitals where high numbers of patients are re-admitted [often due to infections or medical harm].
- Study of Medical Device Rules Is Attacked, Unseen Source: New York Times (Wednesday July 27, 2011)
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.
- Health News: Medical devices debated in Congress; controversies surface; Oregon connection Source: The Oregonian (Tuesday July 5, 2011)
A sampler of articles on the issue of fees for medical device manufacturers, a debate heating up in Washington DC.
- Many hospitals overuse double CT scans, data show Source: Washington Post (Saturday June 18, 2011)
Hundreds of hospitals are routinely performing a type of chest scan that experts say should be used rarely, subjecting patients to double doses of radiation and driving up health-care costs.
- Flacking for Big Pharma
Harriet Washington: “Drugmakers don’t just compromise doctors; they also undermine top medical journals and skew medical research.”
Research and Reports
- 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.