Best Quality Columns of 2012 from A to Z

Cheryl Clark, for HealthLeaders Media , January 3, 2013

U is for Unaccountable
Johns Hopkins cancer surgeon Marty Makary's new book "Unaccountable," released this fall, is causing quite a stir. This column describes his first hand accounts of such physician operators as "the Raptor," and Dr. Hodad (a surgeon, nicknamed because he uses "hands of death and destruction" and turns simple surgical instruments into "wrecking balls."

Makary published the book, which sounds like a "tell all," to get patients to be more skeptical and inquisitive about the track records of their prospective healthcare providers.

Z is for Zero
Perhaps there's no better effort to get some hospitals trying harder to get their central line-associated bloodstream infections down to zero than publishing hospital scores on HospitalCompare, which it did in early February. 

After all, it's a worthy goal, since federal documents estimate CLABSIs killed 10,000 or more of 41,000 patients who acquired them in U.S. hospitals during 2009, and adding $700 million to the U.S. healthcare bill.

The good news is that the numbers are going down dramatically. Here's hoping that they will continue to do so in 2013.

Happy New Year.

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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