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Category Archives: Uncategorized

Anemia drugs made billions, but at what cost?

The Washington Post | By Peter Whoriskey, Published: July 19  On the day Jim Lenox got his last injection, the frail 54-year-old cancer patient was waiting to be discharged from the Baltimore Washington Medical Center. He’d put on his black leather … Continue reading

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one doc whines and access is denied

Better Watchdog Workshop Postponed — Scranton, Pa.

Board of Directors Meeting Sept. 24-25, 2011 — St. Louis, Mo. at the Marriott St. Louis Airport

Data Visualization Graphics Workshop Sept. 29, 2011 — St. Louis, Mo.

Better Watchdog Workshop Oct. 1-2, 2011 — Burlington, Vt.

See all upcoming events

Doctor data closed by federal government available through journalism groups’ efforts

Posted on September 16th, 2011

As part of an effort by three journalism organizations to maintain public access to an important database of physician discipline records, that data is now being made available free of charge through the IRE website.

Investigative Reporters and Editors, the Association of Health Care Journalists and the Society of Professional Journalists have protested the government’s decision to cut off access to The National Practitioner Data Bank, which has been used by reporters for many years to investigate issues involving lax oversight of physicians. The version of the data that has traditionally been publicly available does not identify doctors, but contains other important information that allows journalists and others to look for trends in disciplinary actions. The data has been part of IRE’s Database Library, which obtains federal government data and makes it easier for journalists to use.

A recently updated version of the data is now being offered free of charge from IRE’s Web site. The entire data set, current as of August, is available for download, as are individual breakouts of the data by state in Excel files that are ready for fast analysis. IRE also has filed a Freedom of Information request for the most up-to-date version of the database and is awaiting a response.

The public use file is being reviewed and changes may be made to further assure confidentiality before public access is restored, an official told The New York Times.

The journalism organizations this week sent a letter to the administration asking that access be immediately restored, and criticizing a threatening letter sent by the Health Resources and Services Administration, an agency of the Department of Health and Human Services, to a Kansas City Star journalist who used the database for a recent story. The agency warned the reporter that he could be liable for $11,000 or more in civil fines for violating a confidentiality provision of the federal law. Continue reading

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new resource for consumers

This brochure provides the consumer on his or her rights under the Affordable care act.  http://www.ct.gov/oha/cwp/view.asp?a=11&Q=479872

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It is up to us – the growning patient safety movement

Slowly the public is coming to realize that hospitals are not always safe places. When the Institute of Medicine published its landmark study “To Err Is Human” a decade ago, pointing out the ubiquitous problem of medical errors in the U.S., the press yawned. Since then, though, a grassroots patient safety movement has blossomed, and the media’s interest has grown along with it. More journalists are using data and old-fashioned shoe leather reporting to dig into what’s killing Americans in places that are supposed to make them well Continue reading

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everything you need to know about hand hygiene

This is an amazing resource.  But what we have to figure out is how to get everyone to follow basic rules about clean hands.  http://www.cdc.gov/handhygiene/index.html There is no issue that has effected more members of the CT Center for Patient … Continue reading

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Health care has no intrinsic value at all, none. Health does.

This is an amazingly wonderful and insightful quote.  Don Berwick, for twentyone years has thoughtfully led with integrity and compassion.  I can imagine now his confimation hearings at which those with no heart will accuse him or rationing and “death … Continue reading

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learning to say NO NO NO

This is just a great article that addresses one of our increasing concerns – inappropriate care and over use.  I am much more suspicious than the journalists.  I love the way doctors say they over prescribe because they are afraid … Continue reading

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Press conference March 1, 2010

At 11 am we kick off a public health hearing with a press conference with the Attorney General.  We are offering simple solutions to complex problems. Restricting pharmaceutical gifts to healthcare providers and requiring disclosure of all payments over $1,000 … Continue reading

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Medical errors – Third largest cause of death in the United States

The investigation found that nearly 9 percent, or 700 surgeons, admitted to having made a major mistake within the previous three months. Continue reading

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Ten Years too Late

New York Times has a great article on the use of chloratxidine. It is infuriating how many studies and how much harm before simple and imporant practices are implemented CDC ten years ago recommended the use of this soap but … Continue reading

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