Post-Dispatch, September 19, 2011
A public database of doctor discipline and malpractice records, blocked earlier this month by the Obama administration, was made publicly available Friday by three journalism associations. The Association of Health Care Journalists, the Society of Professional Journalists, and Investigative Reporters and Editors have made the full database available on IRE's web site. "While the government has decided that this 'public use file' should no longer be public, our organizations believe that it continues to be a critical resource," said Charles Ornstein, president of the Columbia, MO, based AHCJ. "I encourage reporters, even those who have never used it before, to look for stories within it now." The file released by the journalism groups is a version downloaded last month by IRE. The organization, also based in Columbia, said it has filed a freedom-of-information request for the most recent version of the data.