This geographic signifier gathers content together on our site which is regarded as having national significance. That includes items at the federal level.
Consumers Union Documents
- 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
- Ratings of Heart Surgeons
Consumer Reports has teamed with The Society of Thoracic Surgeons (STS) to rate heart-surgery groups based on their performance data for bypass surgery. For the first time, consumers can easily see how surgical groups compare with national benchmarks for survival, complications, and other measures.
- Consumer Reports AdWatch
Consumers are besieged daily by ads for prescription drugs, all beseeching you to “ask your doctor” for a given brand-name drug for an ailment that you might, or might not, actually have. Those ads don’t always tell the whole story. They might, for example, play down or omit information about nondrug options, or imply that a drug works wonders for everyone when in reality it works only marginally better than a placebo. That’s why we started the Consumer Reports AdWatch series. Check out our video commentaries on TV drug ads.
- Consumers Union Letter to FDA Commissioner on Avandia drug safety
In light of the credible estimates of possible continuing harm to patients caused by Avandia (diabetes medication) and the fact that there are readily available alternative treatments, Consumers Union recommends that the FDA make a decision by May on whether the drug’s sales and use should continue in the U.S.
- CU Comments to National Quality Forum on Definition of Serious Reportable Events
Consumers Union comments on National Quality Forum’s proposal to change definition of “serious reportable events” from those that should “never” occur to those that should “not” occur. February 2, 2010 Download file
- Consumer Reports Health: Many Hospitals Fail To Lower Infection Rates Despite Lifesaving Checklist
New online ratings provide patients with easy access to hospital infection rates, a first for consumers
- Kentucky Model Hospital Infection Reporting and Screening bill
AN ACT relating to health facility-acquired infections.
Be it enacted by the General Assembly of the Commonwealth of Kentucky:
- Consumers Union Letter in Support of National MRSA Bill
Consumers Union supports H.R. 2937, “The MRSA Infection Prevention and Patient Protection Act.”
- State Hospital Infection Public Reporting Laws
Summary of state laws hospital infection reporting laws.
- To Err is Human – To Delay is Deadly
Ten years later, a million lives lost, billions of dollars wasted
Consumers Union News Releases
- CDC: 58% drop in central line infections in ICUs
Report Shows Infections Are Preventable But More Effort Is Needed To Protect Patients.
- California Issues Reports on Hospital-Acquired Infections
The reports provide a first glimpse at Hospital Infection Rates. Consumers Union press release recommending the state work harder to ensure the data is accurate and provided in a format consumers can easily view and understand.
- Report Finds Medical Errors More Common
Consumers Union Calls For Public Reporting of Medical Errors
- New HHS Regulations Require Public Reporting of Certain Hospital Infections
Beginning next year, consumers across the country will be able to find out how their hospital stacks up when it comes to infections.
- Public Reporting of Hospital Infection Rates Will Save Lives & Dollars
Patient Safety Groups Support Efforts Under Health Care Reform to Disclose Infection Rates and Tie Payments to Performance
- Consumers Union Finds Slow Progress on Patient Safety in California
California Department of Public Health Has Failed to Carry Out Key Requirements of Recent Patient Safety Laws
- New York report details hospital infection rates
Infection program serves as model because NY invested resources to assist hospitals and validate data
- MRSA screening bill pushed in Congress
CU endorses bills in Congress to screen patients for MRSA and report infection rates to public
- CU Report: U.S. Health Care System Fails To Protect Patients From Deadly Medical Errors
Consumers Union Assesses Lack of Progress Ten Years After Institute of Medicine Found Up To 98,000 Die From Preventable Errors
- Human face on weak prescription safety laws
Today, Patricia Slingo appears in a full page USA Today advertisement as part of our national push to finally pass strong drug safety reform.
- Victory for patients! Public reporting of certain infections will go nationwide
Soon it will be easier for you to find out how well your hospital prevents certain infections. As part of the new health care reform law, the Department of Health and Human Services will require hospitals to publicly disclose several types of dangerous hospital infections.
- Patient safety activists hold “conversation” with CDC
On June 16, Consumers Union’s Safe Patient Project and 11 patient safety advocates from 10 states attended the first “Consumer Conversation on Healthcare-Associated Infections” at the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) in Atlanta.
- Let’s talk about labels
A bill in California (SB 1390) would create a minimum of 12-point font for the most crucial information on medication labels and would require translation of medication label information into commonly used non-English languages.
Guest blog post from Kerry O’Connell of Conifer, Colorado. Kerry is a member of the Colorado Health Facility Acquired Infections Advisory Committee. A committed patient safety advocate, he calls for restoring empathy and compassion in health care.
- New CDC report on CLABSIs: One step forward, many more to go
This week the federal Centers for Disease Control and Prevention issued a state-specific report (not hospital specific) on rates of central line-associated bloodstream infections (CLABSIs) in the ICU as collected by its National Healthcare Safety Network (NHSN), a monitoring system that looks at hospital infections across the nation.
- A Lifesaving Safety Program Your Hospital Should Follow
An innovative “checklist” to reduce central line bloodstream infections in intensive care units has had incredible success in hospitals where it’s been adopted.
- Septicemia Statistics and the Need for Death Certificate Reform
Guest blog by Lori Nerbonne of NH Patient Voices–Death certificates are the primary source of important vital statistics in our country – yet too many certificates fail to tell the whole story.
- New Resource for Those Dissatisfied with a Health Care Experience
Guest blog post by Deb Wachenheim, Health Quality Manager at Health Care For All (HCFA) in Boston. HCFA has launched a new website that can help patients in Massachusetts and across the country speak up when something goes wrong in the hospital. There is information on asking for help when you are in the hospital, advice on how to file a complaint, and resources available to help you.
- California Pharmacy Board Should Support Safer Medication Labels
Guest blog post written by Syed Sayeed, Policy Analyst at Consumers Union’s West Coast Office. CU is calling on California residents to submit comments to the Pharmacy Board by March 10th, in support of requiring all pharmacies to print important label information in at least a 12-point font size.
- U.S. Congressman dies following surgical error, infection
Our leaders in Congress experience medical harm, too. On Monday, Politico reported that Pennsylvania U.S. Congressman John Murtha had died as a result of complications from recent gallbladder removal surgery at Bethesda Naval Hospital.
- Grassley criticizes federal agency over removal of doctor discipline data Source: Association of Health Care Journalists (Friday October 7, 2011)
U.S. Sen. Charles Grassley sent a letter today to the Health Resources and Services Administration, criticizing its decision to remove a public version of the National Practitioner Data Bank, which has helped reporters and researchers to expose serious gaps in the oversight of physicians.
- Former Practitioner Data Banks official says HRSA ‘erroneously interpreting the law’ Source: Association of Health Care Journalists (Monday October 3, 2011)
A retired National Practitioner Data Bank official (Robert Oshel) criticized a decision by the U.S. Health Resources and Services Administration for removing the Public Use File of the National Practitioner Data Bank from the agency’s website – a major development as journalism groups fight to restore access to the important tool.
- Hospitals readmission rates under scrutiny Source: Austin American-Statesman (Wednesday September 28, 2011)
A new national study indicates that too many hospitals are fumbling and could face penalties if they don’t improve within a year. Texas hospitals respond.
- Journalists turn to Sebelius for access to National Practitioner Data Bank file Source: Association of Health Care Journalists (Wednesday September 28, 2011)
Six journalism groups have appealed to Health and Human Services Secretary Kathleen Sebelius to intervene in the dispute over the Public Use File of the National Practitioner Data Bank and restore access to this important data tool.
- Agency declines to restore public data Source: Association of Health Care Journalists (Thursday September 22, 2011)
The U.S. Health Resources and Services Administration resisted demands by three major journalism organizations for the immediate restoration of a Public Use File of the National Practitioner Data Bank, a tool that reporters have used to expose lapses in oversight of troubled physicians.
- Kansas City Star: Stop trying to protect dangerous doctors Source: Kansas City Star (Saturday September 17, 2011)
“President Barack Obama’s administration has gone overboard in trying to protect physicians from the public’s right to glean essential information about their doctors.”
- US data on 'bad doctors' closed to the public Source: MSNBC (Thursday September 15, 2011)
The Obama administration has closed public access to its database of disciplinary action against doctors and other medical professionals, basically because reporters were getting too good at using it.
- Report Finds Improved Performance by Hospitals Source: New York Times (Wednesday September 14, 2011)
NYT coverage of the Joint Commission report on hospital process measures. Consumers Union Safe Patient Project Director, Lisa McGiffert, quoted: “Highlight the poorest performers.”
- Obama's HHS shuts down public access to doctor malpractice data Source: Kansas City Star (Tuesday September 13, 2011)
The Kansas City Star reports on the HHS taking down the National Practitioner Data Bank Public Use File. Lisa McGiffert, Director of Consumers Union’s Safe Patient Project quoted. A Health and Human Services Department’s Health Resources and Services Administration spokesman says the file is likely to be down for 6 months or more and may not return in the same format.
- National doctor database goes dark over privacy concerns Source: St. Louis Post-Dispatch (Monday September 12, 2011)
The Health Resources and Services Administration has removed the Public Use File from the National Practitioner Data Bank’s website because of confidentiality concerns.
Research and Reports
- Tennessee Center for Patient Safety Annual Report 2010
TN Hospital Association’s Center for Patient Safety Report indicates reduction of hospital-acquired infections in 2010.
- Partnering to Heal video training program
Partnering to Heal is a computer-based, video-simulation training program on infection control practices for clinicians, health professional students, and patient advocates.
- Patient Safety Webinars
Past and future webinars on patient safety.
- AHRQ: Medication-Related Adverse Outcomes in U.S. Hospitals and Emergency Departments, 2008
The number of people treated in U.S. hospitals for illnesses and injuries from taking medicines jumped 52 percent between 2004 and 2008 – from 1.2 million to 1.9 million – according to the latest News and Numbers from the Agency for Healthcare Research and Quality. These medication side effects and injuries resulted from taking or being given the wrong medicine or dosage.
- Partnership for Patients: Better Care, Lower Costs
U.S. Department of Health & Human Services description of its new patient safety initiative.
- State Medical Boards Fail to Discipline Doctors with Hospital Actions Against Them
Public Citizen reviewed the National Practitioner Data Bank Public. They found that physicians who had violations recorded in the Data Bank escaped any state licensing action.
- State-Specific Supplement to the National Healthcare-Associated Infection Standardized Infection Ratio Report: July 2009 through December 2009
State by state summary report on central line associated bloodstream infections
- Making Health Care Safer: Reducing bloodstream Infections
A new report issued today by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention showed a significant decrease in certain infections over the past nine years. The report found that central line associated bloodstream infections (CLABSIs) occurring in hospital intensive care units dropped by 58 percent between 2001 and 2009.
- The role of Surveillance Cultures in the Prevention of Methicillin-resistant Staphylococcus aureus in Acute Care Facilities
Health Watch USA literature review on the prevention of MRSA including surveillance cultures.
- Adverse Events in Hospitals: National Incidence Among Medicare Beneficiaries
An estimated 134,000 Medicare beneficiaries (13.5 percent) experienced at least 1 adverse event in hospitals during the 1-month study period.