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Facebook Page Gathers Stories of Medical Harm

Cheryl Clark, for HealthLeaders Media, May 24, 2012

"I think for hospital leaders this would be a great place for them to put an ear to the ground, to hear what patients are really saying, and factor that in when they make decisions," Allen says. "We created this for doctors, nurses, hospitals, and healthcare officials just as much as it was created for patients."

"Doctors, nurses, and hospital officials also are very interested in reducing the number of patients who suffer infections, injuries, and errors while undergoing medical care," he adds.

Leah Binder, CEO of the Leapfrog Group, which plans to publish patient safety scores for 2,600 hospitals on its website in a few weeks, says ProPublica's patient safety community "is a great idea ... so people who suffer this kind of harm don't think they're the only ones."

"All too often I will hear from someone, 'I had the most unusual experience; I got an infection in a hospital' or 'someone gave the wrong medication.' But that's not unusual; that's usual," Binder says. "Most people who have been in a hospital have suffered some kind of harm and it's time to put a stop to that. People deserve to know that some hospitals are safer than others."

She notes that the Office of Inspector General at the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services counted up the number of deaths to Medicare beneficiaries caused by medical mistakes for one month. The extrapolated one-year total was 180,000. That makes for a lot of bereaved and frustrated family members.

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2 comments on "Facebook Page Gathers Stories of Medical Harm"


Johneric Pate (5/29/2012 at 2:29 PM)
I agree with Joleen's comment.Myself and thousands of other patients have been harmed by "known" faulty plastic "temporary" pancreas and bile duct stents.These stents were proven to kill both dogs and pigs during FDA clinical trials.Why then use them in people?FDAclinicaltrials.gov has also done animal trials on biodegradeable pancreas/bile duct stents because"plastic stents have to be removed in a second ERCP."All research shows that after a 1st or 2nd stenting the patient will need surgery to correct the problem.I have had 6 ERCP's and NO surgery yet even with over 5 referrals saying that i need surgery to correct the problem.I was informed by many doctors/surgeon's that i need to leave the country to have surgery.Why leave to another country(something in which i can not afford)when the stent [INVALID]ions were here in the U.S.?The answer lies somewhere in between the lobbyist,speialist(doctors)who take kick backs from these faulty stents,and people in congress who take money form lobbyist for campaign incentives.The 510(k)process is a per(fact)example of this.As i die slowly because my liver and kidney's are failing from these faulty stents(in which a liver surgeon informed me that i never needed to begin with)thousands of other patients will meet their demise until something is done to correct the corruption.

Joleen Chambers (5/25/2012 at 9:45 AM)
It is easy for a consumer to pick out a good vacuum cleaner thanks to Consumer Reports-not so- for implanted medical devices! The IOM (Institute of Medicine) stated 7/29/11 that the FDA 510(k)method of clearing implanted medical devices (ICD's, surgical mesh, stents, hips, knees) is fatally flawed and should be scrapped. Yet the practice continues because the industry is so profitable and politically powerful. Patient harm (as a result of failed devices) in it's wake is fueled by poor federal public policy that does not require UDI (unique device identifiers) or post-market follow-up.