Ending Medical Harm: Tackling the 3rd leading cause of death in the U.S. Agenda

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Ending Medical Harm: Tackling the 3rd leading cause of death in the U.S.
Columbia School of Journalism Lecture Hall (2950 Broadway at 116th St.)
November 6, 2013, 10am – 3pm

10:00-10:15 am: Welcome – Chris Meyer, Consumer Reports, Vice President, External Affairs.

10:15-10:30 am: Introduction: The Overlooked Consumer Perspective
Lisa McGiffert, Campaign Manager, Safe Patient Project

10:30- 11:30 am Pulling Back the Curtain: Translating patient safety data into useable public information. The panel will discuss current and future ideas for turning data into information that can be used by consumers, patients and health care providers to improve medical care and save lives.

Charlie Ornstein – ProPublica
John Santa, MD, MPH – Consumer Reports’ Health Rating Center
Pete Eisler, Reporter, USA Today
Moderator: Marshall Allen – ProPublica

11:30 -12:00 pm Bill Baby Bill: Today’s health care mantra & what it means for consumers
Rosemary Gibson – Author and public interest advocate will discuss how overuse of medical care is unnecessary, expensive and can be dangerous.

12:00-1230 pm: Lunch

12:30-1:30 pm: Bad Bearings: The rise and fall of the metal-on-metal hip
Stephen Tower, MD: An orthopedic surgeon who got a metal-on-metal hip implant will share his journey on becoming an “accidental authority on the health hazards of metal-on-metal hip implants.”

1:30-2:30 pm: Stories Matter: Publishing patient experiences to drive public policy change. This panel will explore participants’ transformation after the pain of death and injury of a loved one to becoming expert patient safety advocates. Their work demonstrates the important role that patients and consumers are playing in the push to end medical harm.

John James, PhD- Patient safety advocate and author of “A New, Evidence-Based Estimate of Patient Harms Associated with Hospital Care,” published by The Journal of Patient Safety.
Pat Mastors- Author of Design to Survive, 9 ways an IKEA Approach Can Fix Health Care and Save Lives.
Dan Walter- Author of Collateral Damage: A Patient, a New Procedure & the Learning Curve.
Moderator- Suzanne Henry, Policy Analyst, Consumers Union Safe Patient Project

2:30-3:00 pm: A Consumer Movement 10 Years in the Making
Lisa McGiffert will cover a retrospective of accomplishments and work ahead for the Safe Patient Project Network.

Speaker Bios

Chris Meyer– Oversees Development, External Relations, and Consumer Reports’ advocacy division, Consumers Union. Consumers Union works for health reform, financial reform, food and product safety, energy-policy reform, media reform, and other consumer issues in Washington, D.C., all of the states, and in the marketplace. In addition to staff at Consumer Reports’ national headquarters in Yonkers, N.Y., Mr. Meyer manages the advocates and attorneys of Consumer Reports’ regional offices in Washington, D.C.; Austin, Texas, and San Francisco. Mr. Meyer has been responsible for a number of innovations, including the development of a database of over 1.1 million e-activists that have played critical roles in passage of state legislation, and landmark federal laws reforming the country’s health care system, food safety, credit card rules and the nation’s product-safety laws.

Lisa McGiffert– Manager of Consumers Union’s Safe Patient Project which works on state and national levels to make information available to consumers about medical harm, focusing on healthcare-acquired infections, medical device safety, medical errors, and physician accountability. Beginning in 2003, the campaign initiated state laws to publish hospital infection rates and raise public awareness about the problem; today more than half of the states and Medicare require such reporting. The campaign’s collaboration with individuals who have personal experiences with medical harm has developed into a national consumer activist network to make health care safer. McGiffert routinely lends the consumer voice on these issues at conferences, with the media and when serving on national and state-based patient safety advisory committees. From 1991-2003, McGiffert directed CU advocacy efforts on the full array of health issues in Texas including access to care, health insurance, physician and hospital regulation and quality of care. Prior that, she was the legislative director for the Texas Senate Committee on Health and Human Services and a juvenile probation/parole officer.

Charles Ornstein-Reporter for Propublica. Charles was a lead reporter on a series of articles in the Los Angeles Times in collaboration with Tracy Weber, titled “The Troubles at King/Drew” hospital that won the Pulitzer Prize for Public Service, the Robert F. Kennedy Journalism Award and the Sigma Delta Chi Award for public service in 2005. His ProPublica series, with Tracy Weber, “When Caregivers Harm: California’s Unwatched Nurses” was a finalist for a 2010 Pulitzer Prize for Public Service. Ornstein reported for the Times starting in 2001, in the last five years largely in partnership with Weber. Earlier, Ornstein spent five years as a reporter for the Dallas Morning News. He is president of the Association of Health Care Journalists and a former Kaiser Family Foundation media fellow.

John Santa– Director of the Consumer Reports Health Ratings Center. John has been Director of the Consumer Reports Health Ratings Center since 2008. Previously he practiced internal medicine in Oregon and served in administrative roles in hospitals, insurance companies, and medical groups that insure and care for commercial, Medicare and Medicaid patients. From 1999 to 2003 he was Administrator of the Oregon Office for Health Policy and Research, a state agency concerned with Medicaid and other areas of health policy.

Pete Eisler– Investigative reporter at USA TODAY, where he’s reported on everything from lax enforcement of U.S. safe drinking water laws to medial errors and superbugs in US hospitals, including the series “When Health care makes you sick.” In 2013, Eisler shared the Gerald Loeb Award for online journalism, the Hillman Prize for Web-based investigative reporting, and the duPont-Columbia Award for digital journalism. His work also has been honored in the Barlett and Steele Awards for Investigative Reporting, the National Headliner Awards, the National Press Club Awards and the Awards for Excellence in Health Care Journalism. He is a board member and treasurer at the Fund for Investigative Journalism, which provides reporting grants to independent journalists, and he volunteers as a high school teaching fellow for the News Literacy Project in Washington, DC.

Marshall Allen-Reporter for ProPublica. His “Do No Harm: Hospital Care in Las Vegas,” written in collaboration with Alex Richards for the Las Vegas Sun, was honored with several journalism awards, including the Harvard Kennedy School’s 2011 Goldsmith Prize for Investigative Reporting and a Pulitzer Prize finalist for local reporting. His health-care coverage was recognized as the best in the country in 2009 by the Association of Healthcare Journalists (AHCJ). In 2007, he won second place for his beat reporting for the Sun where he spent five years before coming to ProPublica in 2011. He has been instrumental in creating ProPublica’s Patient Harm Community on Facebook. Before he was in journalism, Allen spent five years in full-time ministry, including three years in Nairobi, Kenya. He has a Master’s degree in Theology.

Rosemary Gibson – Senior Advisor to The Hastings Center; an editor for JAMA Internal Medicine “Less is More,” author of Wall of Silence: The Untold Story of the Medical Mistakes that Kill and Injure Millions of Americans, The Treatment Trap: How the Overuse of Medical Care is Wrecking Your Health and What You Can Do to Prevent It,  Medical Meltdown, and Battle Over Health Care.

Stephen Tower, MD – Tower specializes in orthopedics in Anchorage Alaska and was featured in a 2012 Consumer Reports article about medical devices, which led to patients contacting him from all over the world. Dr. Tower, who was “captured by why hips fail” since his training in hip replacements, describes himself as an accidental authority on metal-metal complications following his own experience of being poisoned by a metal-on-metal hip implant. This experience launched him on a passionate quest to educate physicians and patients about the perils of this device. Along the way he ran into roadblocks from the FDA and his own profession.

John James-Patient safety advocate and author of “A New, Evidence-based Estimate of Patient Harms Associated with Hospital Care, published by The Journal of Patient Safety, Sept 2013. This estimate has been hailed as a much needed update on the death statistics published by the Institute of Medicine in 1999. John’s Patient Safety America monthly newsletter is dedicated to his 19-year old son, John Alexander James, who died as a result of uninformed, careless, and unethical care by cardiologists, and provides critical analysis of published studies and reports on medical harm. He serves on the Texas advisory committee overseeing implementation of laws requiring reporting of health care-acquired infections and medical errors. He is the author of A Sea of Broken Hearts: Patient Rights in a Dangerous, Profit-Driven Health Care System.

Pat Mastors-Author of Design to Survive: 9 ways an IKEA approach can fix health care and save lives. Through colorful analogies, gripping stories from families and top doctors, and her quest to find out what happened to her own father, Pat has served up key strategies for patients, families and health care providers, with the conviction that we can do better. Pat is a veteran news and medical reporter at several New England television stations; the creator of the Patient Pod, a patient engagement & empowerment tool that brings patient autonomy and communication to the bedside, that is undergoing a clinical trial in a hospital system with “teachback” to reduce hospital re-admissions; and an active blogger. Her blog posts at Islands of Excellence have been cross-posted by the National Patient Safety Foundation, The HealthCare Blog, KevinMD and Reporting on Health. She worked to pass Rhode Island’s hospital infection reporting and serves on the state’s advisory committee to implement that law.

Dan Walter– Author of Collateral Damage: A Patient, a New Procedure, and the Learning Curve. “MY larger purpose in writing this book is to tell Pam that she does matter, and that her life is important — and her story is important – and it deserves to be honestly told…” What unfolds in Dan’s book is a compelling behind the scenes look at the corrupting corporate influence on American’s health care system. A review by David Mayer said “… this book should be required reading for all resident physicians and health science students entering the field.” Dan has served as a Communications Director of the American News Network and for US Senator Herb Kohl and as a political consultant with Joe Trippi. He was a technical writer for Oregon Gov. John Kitzhaber’s health care reform effort.