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Facebook Page Gathers Stories of Medical Harm

Cheryl Clark, for HealthLeaders Media, May 24, 2012

It occurs to me that hospitals and doctors might be nervous about the page, fearing a free-for-all of complaints from emotional patients and family members who exaggerate claims or confuse the natural course of illness and disease with preventable misdiagnoses, infections, and medication mishaps. I see both sides, and appreciate the very human ways that can happen when people are in distress.

So I asked the American Hospital Association to take a look, noting that ProPublica wants providers to join the conversation.

Nancy Foster, AHA vice president of quality and patient safety, gives a tepid response:

"When patients have concerns about their care, we encourage them to talk with staff at the hospital. Patients and their family members will find that their care givers are deeply concerned about making care right for them and that care givers also want to improve the care experience for future patients.
"Further, it is often helpful for patients to share their stories in forums like this one. However, as providers, we are both legally and ethically bound to honor our patients' privacy and not discuss their care in open public forums."

The American Medical Association did not respond to a request for comment.

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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.