2. Hospital's Drug Diversion Nightmare Spawns Multiple Infections
This June 28 column detailed the extent of concern for hospitals about the growing practice of drug diversion among their most critical employees. In this small New Hampshire facility, more than 30 patients treated in the cardiac catheterization unit have tested positive for the same strain of hepatitis C as one employee.
A follow-up column Aug. 2 explains how the lack of a federal registry for this level of healthcare provider allowed a worker to potentially infect patients in the 11 other hospitals in eight other states where he worked over the last several years.
The employee, a radiology technician who worked at Exeter for more than a year, now faces federal charges, and the hospital is grappling with multiple investigations by numerous federal and state agencies.
3. Hospitals Give Leapfrog Safety Scores A Failing Grade
When Leapfrog released its first report-card style grade of how likely a patient might endure harm while being treated in several thousands of the nation's hospitals, many hospitals and trade associations were enraged saying that the purchasing collaborative had used a biased algorithm. We interviewed hospital officials for this June 7 column.
4. When A Surgical Site Infection Sends A Friend Through Hell
John Muncie, who now lives in Virginia, was one of my editors in a previous publication. When I heard he suffered a life-threatening infection at a brand new hospital, he was eager to explain what happened for my Feb. 16 column. John has recovered, I'm happy to say, and is so much wiser about how healthcare with the best intentions can go terribly wrong.