Facebook Page Gathers Stories of Medical Harm
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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