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When Patients Read What Their Doctors Write

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The Battle Against Misdiagnosis: American doctors make the wrong call more than 12 million times a year.

The Wall Street Journal | By  Hardeep Singh, Aug. 7, 2014 7:16 p.m. ET  -  There is a new very sobering number out in the news today.  Twelve MILLION misdiagnoses a year.  But the good news is that this article also talks about the ways to reduce the chance it will happen -  recognizing that improving communication between physicians and patients is the first step.  Visit our website at: and see our resources to empower you, the patient.

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Study: Wide Hospital Quality Gap on Maternity Care

The NewYorkTimes By THE ASSOCIATED PRESSAUG. 4, 2014, WASHINGTON — Where a woman delivers her baby can make a major difference to her own health — a quality gap that remains largely hidden from mothers-to-be.  A new study comparing hospitals nationwide finds that women who delivered at low-performing facilities suffered more than twice the rate of major complications for vaginal births. For cesarean section deliveries, the disparity was even greater: nearly a fivefold difference, according to the study in Monday’s issue of Health Affairs.  Read More

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Courage to Bring Change

RFK at Arlington

The other day, I visited Arlington National Cemetery.  There are rows and rows of white tombstones, 400,000 graves in all.  It’s daunting.  From atop the hill at Arlington House, in almost every direction, the endless rows of white can be seen.

Each year 440,000 Americans needlessly die as a result of medical harm.  They could fill an Arlington National Cemetery – every year!   They did not sign on to do something with the understanding that medical harm was an accepted risk.

We can honor them by working together to change this, and many of us are.  We should think about the words of Robert Kennedy, found on the wall of his memorial at Arlington.   Although they were spoken almost 50 years ago, well before the patient safety movement took shape, we can think of them in terms of patient safety and use them as inspiration as we go forward and engage in conversations and actions to end the needless deaths that result from medical harm.

“It is from numberless diverse acts of courage and belief that human history is shaped each time a man stands up for an ideal or acts to improve the lot of others or strikes out against injustice he sends forth a tiny ripple of hope, and crossing each other from a million different centers of energy and daring those ripples build a current that can sweep down the mightiest wall of oppression and resistance.”

Robert F. Kennedy, South Africa, 1966

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The Right Exam, The Right Way, The Right Radiation Dose

Jean Rexford, along with Rosemary Gibson, Stephen Smith,  John Santa and other supporters of national  patient safety efforts,  are contributors to an article just published in the March, 2014

The Right Exam, The Right Way, The Right Radiation Dose

The March, 2014 issue of the features an article on the overexposure of ionizing radiation to our pediatric population.  This problem has urgency in that the findings are uncontroversial and patients cannot wait for changes to passively diffuse through the system.  Through the engagement of patients, public organizations, and medical professionals in this movement, the contributors to this commentary seek to bring about that accreditation of all American hospitals and advanced diagnostic imaging facilities require these 3 practices:  The Right Exam, The Right Way, The Right Radiation Dose.

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Nurses in medical error get “re-education” | Amanda Cuda | Updated 10:49 pm, Friday, June 20, 2014   The five nurses linked to misuse of insulin pens at Derby’s Griffin Hospital will not be terminated or suspended, a hospital spokesman said. In May, hospital officials announced that pieces of a small number of insulin pens, used primarily to treat diabetes, had been used on more than one patient, leading to possible contamination.  Read more

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More Than 750 Hospitals Face Medicare Crackdown On Patient Injuries

By Jordan Rau  |  KHN Staff Writer  |  Jun 22, 2014

“The sanctions, estimated to total $330 million over a year, kick in at a time when most infections measured in hospitals are on the decline, but still too common. In 2012, one out of every eight patients nationally suffered a potentially avoidable complication during a hospital stay, the government estimates. Even infections that are waning are not decreasing fast enough to meet targets set by the government. Meanwhile new strains of antibiotic-resistant bacteria are making infections much harder to cure.”  Read more

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Kindness is Top Factor in Quality Health Care

Dignity Health, Chandler Regional Medical Center  11/13/2013  -  Dignity Health Survey Finds Majority of Americans Rate Kindness as Top Factor in Quality Health Care Patients willing to pay more and travel further for kinder treatment; Philadelphia receives top grade as kindest city for health care.

Dignity Health, one of the five largest health systems in the U.S.,  announced the findings of a nation-wide survey on the power of humankindness in health care and the perception of kindness in our society. Chandler Regional, Mercy Gilbert and St. Joseph’s Hospital and Medical Centers, are all part of the Dignity Health system. Read more

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Even Small Medical Advances Can Mean Big Jumps in Bills

NY Times |  By   Catherine Hayley is saving up for an important purchase: an updated version of the tiny digital pump at her waist that delivers lifesaving insulin under her skin.

Such devices, which tailor insulin dosing more precisely to the body’s needs, have transformed the lives of people with Type 1 diabetes like Ms. Hayley. But as diabetics live longer, healthier lives and worries fade about dreaded complications like heart attacks, kidney failure, amputations and blindness, they have been replaced by another preoccupation: soaring treatment costs.  Read more

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Double Dip: Doctors Paid to Advise, Promote Drug Companies That Fund Their Research

by Charles Ornstein and Ryann Grochowski Jones   ProPublica,  March 25, 2014, 12 a.m.  This story was co-published with The Boston Globe.  Research has been seen as less objectionable than other forms of interactions with drug companies, but 10 percent of researchers have multiple ties among the nine companies ProPublica analyzed. That raises questions about doctors’ impartiality.  A ProPublica analysis shows that more than 1,300 practitioners nationwide received both research money and speaking or consulting fees from the same drug maker in 2012. All told, they received more than $90 million in research grants — plus nearly $13 million for speaking engagements and another $4 million for consulting.  Read more

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