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CMS Unveils Hospital Violations Database

Cheryl Clark, for HealthLeaders Media, March 18, 2013

Ceja explained why in an e-mail response: "CMS' efforts to make plans of correction available in a national, searchable electronic database are suspended indefinitely until there is more clarity with respect to the federal budget. Development of such capability requires a multi-year effort and design safeguards that can adequately maintain security in a system that imports data from thousands of external parties."

Ornstein said the journalism association has also put pressure on The Joint Commission to release results of its accreditation surveys of hospitals. "Given the government's steps to increase transparency around these vital reports, we once again call on The Joint Commission to do the same," Ornstein said in a letter March 13 to TJC president Mark Chassin, MD.

"In our previous exchanges, you have expressed concerns that the public release of The Joint Commission's inspection reports would compromise your efforts to improve hospital quality," he wrote. "The AHCJ board cannot accept the notion that patients are best protected by keeping hospital problems secret. Such reasoning also flies in the face of growing consensus among healthcare leaders and policy makers about the importance of transparency to improve medical care quality."

A spokeswoman for TJC, Elizabeth Zhani, who also attended the journalism meeting, said that Chassin is studying the AHCJ's request.

Funding for the AHCJ's website was provided by the Ethics and Excellence in Journalism Foundation.


Cheryl Clark is senior quality editor and California correspondent for HealthLeaders Media. She is a member of the Association of Health Care Journalists.
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2 comments on "CMS Unveils Hospital Violations Database"


Susan Reese (3/19/2013 at 2:21 PM)
Bravo!! Maybe this will cause hospitals to take a look at their 'top-down' processes and begin their conversations with, How would that affect the nursing staff and patient care? Nurses are the 'eyes and ears' and 24/7 care provider. Ask any nurse if they have an idea how to reduce patient harm, the answer would be, yes! So, if this is true, why don't hospital administrators listen? Probably, because they haven't asked. A nurse can never say, "I can't take another patient right now because it would jepordize patient safety" or "No, I can't work another 4 hours on top of this 12-hour shift". Fatique and inadequate staffing are major contributors to situations which lead to patient harm. These comments are from a nurse with 30 year's of hospital experience

jsilver (3/18/2013 at 12:17 PM)
Long overdue! Hospitals must learn that they do not have a right to provide healthcare services- they are granted that right by the citizens of the states in which they provide services. The citizens have a right to know what's going on, and given the IOM report from 1999 showing that a fully loaded 747 is crashing every day in our country (98,000 lives a year) and that we now know that 2 747's are closer to that truth, CMS has both a moral and oversight repsonsibility to get this information out. CMS should TELL JCAHO what to do if they want to keep surveying hospitals, not ask. I applaud all the efforts by CMS to provide safe and effective care to all Americans. Dr. John Silver