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.
Hospital Acquired Infections
Hospital acquired infections are a leading cause of death in the U.S. Consumers Union supports public disclosure of infection rates so that you can choose the safest hospital and hospitals will have an incentive to improve.
Consumers Union Documents
- Consumers Union comments to National Quality Forum (NQF) on sociodemographic factors Source: Consumers Union (Wednesday April 16, 2014)
Consumers Union letter to National Quality Forum on its draft report “Risk Adjustment for Socioeconomic Status or Other Sociodemographic Factors” regarding risk-adjustment for some provider performance measures. CU’s primary concern is that such adjustments will hide differences in outcomes on quality and safety measures that exist when health care is delivered to patients from certain sociodemographic groups – for example, low-income, race, or age. Performance measures should reveal these differences.
- Video: Testimony of Consumers Union at Senate hearing on medical errors Source: Bernie Sanders (Friday July 18, 2014)
Watch Lisa McGiffert (Consumers Union Safe Patient Project Director) testify at a Senate hearing on medical errors, the third leading cause of death in the U.S.
- Consumers Union's Testimony at Senate Hearing: More Than 1,000 Preventable Deaths a Day Is Too Many Source: Consumers Union (Thursday July 17, 2014)
Lisa McGiffert, Campaign Director for Consumers Union’s Safe Patient Project, testified at a Senate HELP subcommittee hearing on medical errors, July 17, 2014.
- Patient Safety Advocates Urge the Creation of a National Patient Safety Board to Fight Medical Errors Source: Consumers Union (Tuesday July 15, 2014)
A network of patient safety advocates is urging Congress to take steps to improve patient safety by preventing hospital acquired infections and other preventable medical errors.
- Watch out for urinary tract infections in hospitals Source: Consumer Reports (Wednesday June 18, 2014)
Consumer Reports, June 2014: They are common, deadly, but often preventable, a Consumer Reports investigation finds
Consumers Union News Releases
- Patient Safety Advocates Urge the Creation of a National Patient Safety Board to Fight Medical Errors
Consumers Union’s Safe Patient Project to Highlight Need in Senate Testimony
- Consumers Union To Hold “Ending Medical Harm” Conference at Columbia University On November 6th
CONSUMERS UNION NEWS RELEASE For Immediate Release: Tuesday, October 29, 2013 Contact: Michael McCauley, email@example.com or 415-902-9537 (cell) or Ross Moonie, firstname.lastname@example.org or 917-690-5713 or Joe Duraes, email@example.com or 914-293-0100 Consumers Union To Hold “Ending Medical Harm” Conference at Columbia University On November 6 Conference To Focus on Tackling The 3rd Leading Cause of Death Continue Reading
- 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
- CDC hospital infection report shows more effort needed
CDC finds national decline in infections but most hospitals haven’t shown statistically significant improvement since five years ago.
- California Safe Patient activists celebrate progress and testify at Medical Board of California meeting
A week ago, our Consumers Union (CU) Safe Patient Project staff went to sunny California to meet with our network of activists that are working to protect CA patients from medical harm. Find out what we did!
- Consumer Reports shows you what hospitals don’t want you to know about C-sections
Consumer Reports has today released groundbreaking hospital ratings by C-section rates, informing the public about which hospitals perform C-sections at higher rates than others for low-risk deliveries…
- Safe Patient Project teams up with Maine activist Kathy Day
Safe Patient Project’s Daniela Nunez went to healthcare and patient safety-related meetings in Maine this week, joining activist Kathy Day who won a patient partnership award at the Maine Quality Counts conference. Read about important health care conversations happening in Maine.
- Consumers Union’s “Ending Medical Harm” Conference Brings Awareness and Action
Consumers Union’s Safe Patient Project held an incredible conference on November 6, 2013 at Columbia University’s School of Journalism in NYC that gathered experts, journalists and activists to address the pressing public health threat of medical harm. Our conference, “Ending Medical Harm: Tackling the 3rd leading cause of death in the US,” had approximately 150 Continue Reading
- 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
- Maryland hospitals aren't reporting all errors and complications, experts say Source: Baltimore Sun (Saturday July 26, 2014)
What information patients can find on medical errors at [Maryland] hospitals “is sorely lacking, unvalidated and without much meaning to the general public,” said Michael Bennett, who became a patient safety advocate after his 88-year-old father’s death.
- Patients remain in danger from preventable errors Source: Fierce Healthcare (Friday July 18, 2014)
“To better reduce preventable errors, the Senate should establish a National Patient Safety Board, akin to the existing National Transportation Safety Board, testified John James, Ph.D.”
- Medical Errors Third Leading Cause of Death, Senators Told Source: Health Leaders (Thursday July 17, 2014)
At senate hearing testimony from Lisa McGiffert (Consumers Union) and others about the need for better reporting of medical errors and infections.
- MLive Media Group: Patients deserve to know rates of hospital-acquired infections Source: MLive (Monday June 23, 2014)
MLive Media Group is calling on state lawmakers to require hospitals and the Department of Community Health to prominently disclose infection rates.
- MLive hospital infection stories Source: MLive (Monday June 23, 2014)
Link to MLive coverage of hospital infections in Michigan.
Research and Reports
- Kevin Kavanagh study on MRSA surveillance in surgical patients Source: Antimicrobial Resistance & Infection Control (Wednesday May 14, 2014)
An article outlining the case for MRSA surveillance in surgical patients: http://www.aricjournal.com/content/pdf/2047-2994-3-18.pdf
Kavanagh KT, Calderon LE, Saman DM and Abusalem SK: The use of surveillance and preventative measures for methicillin-resistant staphylococcus aureus infections in surgical patients. Antimicrobial Resistance and Infection Control 2014, 3:18 doi:10.1186/2047-2994-3-18 Published: 14 May 2014
- Patient Safety America Newsletter (April 2014) Source: Patient Safety America (Tuesday April 1, 2014)
Summary from John James: For many around the country spring cannot come too soon. Sadly, spring will not come again for too many Americans who sought only to be healed of their illness, and instead experienced a preventable adverse event that harmed them to death. I am sad for those who lost loved ones in the Oso mudslide and in the Malaysian jet disappearance, but far, far more human lives were cut short by suboptimal medical care. I offer this month’s newsletter as a tribute to all who have been lost in the last month to medical errors. They are nameless like the Unknown Soldier; however, few pay any attention to their passing.
Newsletter contents this month are as follows:
• Harm to nursing home patients
• C diff infections – kids and adults
• Do you really need a transfusion?
• White-coat infections
• Beware high-dose acetaminophen
• Surgical site infections in out-patients
• Hospital-dependent patients
• Infections from endoscopes
- Patient Safety America Newsletter (February 2014) Source: Patient Safety America (Sunday February 2, 2014)
Summary from John James: “The first article in this month’s newsletter describes the new guidelines for management of high blood pressure and the second speaks to new guidelines for healthy living. Both sets of guidelines seem to me to be more realistic than previous ones. In keeping with the guideline theme, the third article summarizes how “patient preferences” could be integrated into evidence-based medical guidelines. This is an important area because patient-centered care must be consistent with your preferences.
I was surprised to read the complications that result from tonsillectomies, so I wrote about that in the 4th article. Treating healthcare associated infections is expensive; find out how expensive in the 5th article. Informed consent, the subject of the 5th article, is often denied patients, despite the sham paperwork that often accompanies the pre-surgical process. The concluding article summarizes how the perverse incentive of money affects the care received by nursing home patients with advanced dementia and an acute illness. If you are looking after such a person, then you need to be aware of the incentives to over-treat.”
- CDC Healthcare-associated Infections (HAI) Progress Report Source: CDC (Wednesday March 26, 2014)
“Healthcare-Associated infections are a major, yet often preventable, threat to patient safety. The [CDC's] National and State Healthcare-Associated Infections Progress Report expands and provides an update on previous reports detailing progress toward the ultimate goal of eliminating healthcare-associated infections.”
- Information about Rhode Island ICU Collaborative Source: Healthcentric Advisors (Tuesday January 7, 2014)
“The collaborative aims to improve patient safety and clinical outcomes for adult intensive care unit (ICU) patients in the state, through the development of a unit-based patient safety program and the implementation of proven evidenced-based practices, leading to a reduction in ICU length of stay, complications and associated costs.” Latest outcomes available here: http://www.healthcentricadvisors.org/images/stories/documents/2012%20annual%20performance.pdf