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Medical Harm Complaint System Could be Quality Data Goldmine

Cheryl Clark, for HealthLeaders Media, October 18, 2012

Potential for arrogance

Barbara Balik, a senior faculty member of the Institute for Healthcare Improvement and a former quality executive with Allina Hospitals and Clinics in Minnesota, was on the AHRQ task force that developed the prototype concept three years ago.

She says research shows that even though patients may not understand the inner workings of the healthcare system, "when they get some signals that something in their care isn't going well, there's a strong correlation with the quality and outcomes of care."

She adds, "I think there's the potential for arrogance on the healthcare provider side, to say that patients don't know what they're talking about.   Yes they do. They know what it sounds like, looks like, and feels like from their standpoint, and that's the voice we have to hear. It's an amazing source of insight and advantage that we can take advantage of."

AHRQ officials can't yet say precisely when or where the prototype will be launched, but I'll be looking to see how care might improve as a result. 

As Foster says, "until we try, we really won't know."


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 "Medical Harm Complaints Could be Data Goldmine"


Julia Hallisy (10/18/2012 at 3:33 PM)
The Empowered Patient Coalition knows from first-hand experience the benefits of patient-reported events. We have had a medical event survey for approximately two years with over 670 responses chronicling over 1,000 events from patients, family members, and caregivers. Aggregate data is available on our website at www.EmpoweredPatientCoalition.org. We have found the public to be detailed and highly motivated to effect change in their assessments of the care they received and the sources of their adverse events. Julia Hallisy Founder and President The Empowered Patient Coalition

chloe (10/18/2012 at 2:46 PM)
Stupid, stupid, stupid.