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Medical Errors

Medical Errors

Wrong surgery, wrong medication, serious bedsores… Unsafe practices and poor quality care kill more than 440,000 patients each year and waste billions of dollars every year. What information do you have about the safety of your hospital? What protections do you have if the hospital makes a mistake with you?

Consumers Union Documents

Consumers Union News Releases

Blog Posts

News Articles

  • Surveys give low grades to ENH Lockport
    Source: Lockport Journal (Sunday August 17, 2014)

    Patient safety advocate Mary Brennan-Taylor (member of CU’s Safe Patient Project network) and Consumer Reports’ John Santa quoted on controversy surrounding a Lockport hospital’s poor patient safety scores by Consumer Reports.

  • Ex-Des Moines doctor cited in West Virginia VA death

    With a trail of errors behind him, Iowa doctor hired by a VA hospital in West Virginia.

  • There is a database, but it costs to search
    Source: Des Moines Register (Thursday August 14, 2014)

    The National Practitioner Data Bank is what state licensing boards use to research a doctor’s background but the AMA says it’s not reliable. Why is it acceptable to use this information to license a physician but not show it to the public?

  • Op-ed by Kevin Kavanagh, MD: Use hospital rankings to stay out of harm's way
    Source: Lexington Herald Leader (Sunday August 10, 2014)

    Dr. Kevin Kavanagh, board chairman of Health Watch USA and member of Consumers Union’s Safe Patient Project network explains how patients and consumers can make sense of various hospital rankings. For more information on KY hospital rankings, click here: http://safepatientproject.org/wordpress/wp-content/uploads/2014/08/20140810-Web-Table-20140728BW-KY-Hospital-Ranking.pdf

  • 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.

Research and Reports

  • Health Watch USA Newsletter (August 2014)
    Source: Health Watch USA (Tuesday August 5, 2014)

    Patient safety news presented by KY-based Health Watch USA.

  • Health Watch USA Newsletter (July 2014)
    Source: Health Watch USA (Monday June 30, 2014)

    Patient safety news presented by KY-based Health Watch USA.

  • Health Watch USA Newsletter (June 2014)
    Source: Health Watch USA (Monday June 16, 2014)

    Patient safety news presented by KY-based Health Watch USA.

  • Dr. Kevin Kavanagh breaks down rankings of Kentucky hospitals in this table
    Source: Health Watch USA (Sunday August 10, 2014)

    Dr. Kevin Kavanagh breaks down rankings of Kentucky hospitals in this table

  • 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