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.
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
- Letter to House of Representatives regarding 21st Century Cures Legislation
The undersigned organizations represent healthcare providers, clinical researchers, public health experts, and consumer advocates. We are concerned that the proposed legislation as written fails to ensure a comprehensive and scientifically based approach that supports patients’ access to affordable treatments.
- State Medical Error Report Links
Reports from the states with laws requiring public reporting of medical errors.
- 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.
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, firstname.lastname@example.org or 415-902-9537 (cell) or Ross Moonie, email@example.com or 917-690-5713 or Joe Duraes, firstname.lastname@example.org 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
- Ending Medical Harm: Tackling the 3rd leading cause of death in the U.S. Agenda
The Safe Patient Project is hosting a forum on medical harm at the Columbia School of Journalism Lecture Hall, November 6, 2013, 10:00 am -3:00.
- Medicare Study Shows Most Medical Errors Go Unreported
WASHINGTON, D.C. — A new study released today by the Office of the Inspector General (OIG) of the Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) found that hospital employees are only reporting fourteen percent of all medical errors and usually don’t change their practices to prevent future harm to patients.
- 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,
- A Tragic Reminder How Fragile Life Is
Kim Witczak, member of the Safe Patient Project activist network, writes a personal tribute to her good friend, Karen Langhart, who was an advocate on the dangers of Nuvaring and other 3rd generation hormonal birth controls that have been linked to the death of her daughter and countless other women. Karen was also a member of the Safe Patient Project network.
- There are no conflicts of interest for a pilot
David Antoon, Safe Patient Project activist network member and retired pilot argues that errors in health care are not treated like errors in aviation.
- Art & Patient Safety Awareness: What does Patient Safety Mean to You?
Guest post by Rex Johnson and Yanling Yu, Founders of Washington Advocates for Patient Safety. On August 15, WAPS organized a booth at the Woodinville Festival and Street Fair in Seattle to raise awareness about medical harm. It was a big success!
- “Mom, You Have to Trust Me”: Safe Patient Activist Published by JAMA Internal Medicine
Mary Brennan-Taylor, an activist with the Safe Patient Project since the tragic death of her mother in 2009, has just had an article published by JAMA Internal Medicine, wherein she details in a powerful narrative the sequence of events that took her mother’s life.
- Real Stories: What One Medical Error Did To My Daughter
Read how one medical error changed a young woman’s life forever.
- Six local hospitals fined for preventable infections (San Diego) Source: The San Diego Union Tribune (Saturday December 26, 2015)
The Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services penalizes under-performing hospitals. In the case of the acquired-conditions program that includes infections, it docks Medicare reimbursements by 1 percent for hospitals whose rankings are in the worst 25 percent nationally.
- Deadly and hidden mistakes: Hospital error reports often elude the public Source: Orange County Register (Tuesday December 1, 2015)
“Inspectors don’t send out a news release and say, ‘We just inspected this hospital and this is what we found.’ In a perfect world, that would happen. They work for us. We depend on them,” Consumers Union’s McGiffert said.
- It pays to read the warnings when you open up a prescription Source: Wash. Post (Monday August 3, 2015)
Barbara Odanaka was hospitalized with pneumonia and was prescribed levofloxacin, an antibiotic in the fluoroquinolone drug class. She was not told about fluoroquinolone toxicity, a disorder of the musculoskeletal system.
- Perspective: Less is More Source: NEJM (Tuesday July 28, 2015)
Mary Brennen-Taylor recounts the events that led to her mother’s death, starting with medication that is potentially dangerous to older adults.
- Push for Cameras in the Operating Room Source: Washington Post (Wednesday June 24, 2015)
“A movement is afoot to put cameras in operating rooms around the country, after a woman died from an anesthesia overdose.”
Research and Reports
- Mapping the Terrain of Graduate Medical Education: A Patient's Perspective, Helen Haskell, MA Source: Journal of Graduate Medical Education (Thursday October 2, 2014)
Helen Haskell (2014) Mapping the Terrain of Graduate Medical Education: A Patient’s Perspective. Journal of Graduate Medical Education: September 2014, Vol. 6, No. 3, pp. 437-459.
- What to Do if You Have a Concern about Quality in a Connecticut Hospital Source: Informed Patient Institute (Tuesday September 30, 2014)
This tip sheet explains steps you can take within the hospital to deal with your concerns about quality of care. It tells you how to contact the places that regulate or oversee hospitals.
- What to Do if You Have a Concern about Quality in a Connecticut Nursing Home Source: Informed Patient Institute (Tuesday September 30, 2014)
This tip sheet explains steps you can take within the nursing home to deal with your concerns about quality of care. It tells you how to contact places that regulate or oversee nursing homes.
- Health Watch USA Newsletter (September 2014) Source: Health Watch USA (Sunday September 7, 2014)
Patient safety news presented by KY-based Health Watch USA.
- Health Watch USA Newsletter (August 2014) Source: Health Watch USA (Tuesday August 5, 2014)
Patient safety news presented by KY-based Health Watch USA.