Study: Only 14% Of Medical Errors Reported By Hospitals

In order for a hospital to participate in the Medicare program, it must develop and maintain a Quality Assessment and Performance Improvement (QAPI) program to “track medical errors and adverse patient events, analyze their causes, and implement preventive actions and mechanisms that include feedback and learning throughout the hospital.” However, a new study by the Dept. of Health & Human Services found that only a small portion of patient errors are being reported — and that hospitals don’t seem to give a damn about fixing things.

According to a report from the HHS Office of the Inspector General, hospital incident reporting systems only captured about 14% percent of “patient harm events” experienced by Medicare beneficiaries.

“Hospitals investigated those reported events that they considered most likely to lead to quality and safety improvements and made few policy or practice changes as a result of reported events,” states the report. “Hospital administrators classified the remaining events (86%) as either events that staff did not perceive as reportable (61%) or as events that staff commonly report but did not report in this case (25%).”

HHS says that all the hospitals involved in the study had incident reporting systems and that the administrators at these facilities all claimed to rely heavily on these systems to identify problems.

“One in four hospital patients are harmed by medical errors and infections, which translates to about 9 million people each year,” said Lisa McGiffert, Director of Consumers Union’s Safe Patient Project. “Today’s report confirms what many other studies have already documented. Hospitals are doing a poor job of tracking preventable infections and medical errors and making the changes necessary to keep patients safe. It’s time that hospitals make patient safety a higher priority.”

The Inspector General’s report recommends that the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS) provide hospitals with a standard list of medical errors that need to be tracked and reported to the agency.

And while that would be a good start, Consumers Union believes that public reporting of medical errors is crucial to making hospitals accountable.

“Hospitals should be pushed to do a better job at tracking medical harm, but public reporting is what drives change and the public should have access to this critical information,” said McGiffert. “The solutions arrived at in this report take us down the tired and worn out path of secret reporting of medical harm.”

In 2010, the Inspector General estimated that 15,000 Medicare patients per month experienced medical errors in a hospital that contributed to their deaths. Annually, that adds up to around 180,000 patients. That study estimated the annual cost for these events in hospital care alone at $4.4 billion.

Hospital Incident Reporting Systems Do Not Capture Most Patient Harm [HHS.gov]

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  1. caradrake says:

    I can believe that hospitals don’t give a damn. The last time I was at the hospital, the ER doctor told me I should “just go home and die” if I did not want an IV.

    • jasvll says:

      Who didn’t give a damn about proper medical treatment in that scenario, again?

      • DariusC says:

        “Caradrake”. Always take the advice of a medical professional. Unfortunately, if they are wrong, you end up paying the price. What a world.

    • unpolloloco says:

      What??? You’re complaining because you didn’t want treated and the doctor (in an ER!!!) treated you like a non-compliant patient with free will (which you were)?

    • little stripes says:

      Why would you refuse an IV?

      • caradrake says:

        Personal reasons. I asked if there was anything we could do other than an IV, which is when she said that. Another doctor listened to my reasons and completely empathized and offered some meds to help me with the personal issues – that doctor was superb and took care of me. The first doctor treated me like shit.

        • little stripes says:

          So you’re afraid of needles.

          The doc didn’t need to be rude about it, but I can’t really think of any good “personal reason” that means you shouldn’t get an IV.

          • Coffee says:

            I’m going to speculate a bit here and posit that it’s likely caradrake’s father was likely killed by a large syringe that fell from an immensely tall medical cabinet, puncturing his carotid artery. The syringe, filling quickly with blood, shot out of his neck like a bottle rocket, spraying young caradrake and infecting him with hepatitis.

            I would fear needles if I were him, too.

        • LabGnome says:

          To play devil’s advocate that doctor probably is probably irritable from dealing with patients who would rather roll the dice than get proper treatment (for whatever reason). And it probably just boiled onto you. He probably should have calmed down and tried to find another alternative for you personally (even if it would have led to less effective treatment).

          Another possibility, and this is anecdotal. In my area we have a big problem with prescription drug abusers, I do not know what you were in for so this is likely not relevant but when someone comes in with a problem (‘my back hurts from moving a fridge for a pal’) and starts refusing treatments/tests until meds are offered that raises some red flags.

          So, my guess is he was giving you tough love or he was dismissive of a problem patient.

        • jenesaisrien says:

          understood it could have been presented more diplomaticaly Keep in mind emergency providers are trained and expected to handle emergent health care not the same as a doctor visit with time for more lengthy conversation and banter back and forth of the other possible action or non action Arriving in the emergency dept pretty much states “I’m convinced my condition needs some definitive treatment to fix or I need to be told it’s all normal and needs no treatment now.”. The person has mentally thought it out a bit…i.e.”I’ve exhausted my usual in home self care remedies.Please help me with some advanced care” Think about it

        • rmorin says:

          In healthcare (and particularly in the ED) time is a limited commodity. You being unwilling to put on your big boy/girl pants because you are scared of needles takes time away from providing care to others. By having to do additionally charting on you, and trying to negotiate with you to provide basic (and the most effective) care you are not just inconveniencing the doctor, but others waiting in the ED.

          IVs are used as protocol in ED because by very definition of an ED, your condition can change dramatically very quickly and they may need to get medications into your system ASAP. The doctor should not use harsh words, but your immaturity was simply met by more immaturity, which is hardly surprising. I promise the emotional stress of getting a simple IV started is absolutely worth the potential risks from having it not in place.

          /RN

          • NightWriter says:

            Yes, and every patient who is in the ER is calm and dispassionate and really indifferent to what is being done to their body.

            You’re an RN. But you’ve obviously become more concerned with getting the job done than remembering (because you’ve been taught this your whole career) that your patients are human beings who may be in the most terrifying position they’ve ever been in, in a strange, intimidating and alien environment. Their bodies panic button has been pressed. Their fight or flight instinct is pedal to the metal. And maybe they have a phobia of needles which is an irrational and UNCONTROLLABLE fear. “Big boy pants?” Jesus Christ! “Inconveniencing the doctor?” Oooo… poor wittle doctor didn’t wear his big boy pants and threw an tantrum. Who is there to serve whom? Who is getting paid by whom?

            • rmorin says:

              Yes, in the ED getting the job comes first and feelings come second. They aren’t mutually exclusive, but when push comes to shove I’d much rather have an alive person who’s feelings are hurt, then a dead person. This is not your PCP office, this is a place where literally seconds can decide life and death.

              I don’t know a clearer way to say this to you: Any potential emotional distress being brought on by getting an IV (a procedure that literally takes about 30 seconds) is far, far, far worth the potential complications that can arise by not having one in place.

    • Megalomania says:

      so you, with no medical experience at all, second guessed a guy who spent a decade gaining medical experience in school before moving on to work as a doctor, and you feel he was a jerk for not wanting to put up with it?

      I hope when people who have no idea how to do what you do start second guessing you at work you give them as long as it takes to explain their ideas.

    • nakago71 says:

      Almost all temporary, only during course of treatment. Also, FYI, doctors don’t give you Cipro for a UTI because they’re lazy and don’t want to think of any other options, but because it’s the best option – i.e. other options either don’t cover the likely bacteria, or have worse side effects. It’s medication, not magic; there are often side effects.

  2. Coffee says:

    Lawyers. The answer is lawyers.

    • mythago says:

      Unfortunately those don’t work so good, and the reasons are not what you think.

      Lawyers who do med-mal cases reject something like 95% of the people coming through their door. That’s because these lawyers get paid on contingency (meaning they get a third or so if they win) and not by the hour – so they have to front all the money. So for the case to make economic sense, it has to have a very good chance of succeeding AND enough of a payoff to make it worth paying for things out of pocket for perhaps years.

      Also, these cases can be very hard to prove because the medical profession covers for itself. Charts and videotapes might vanish, people lie, and good luck getting a doctor to testify that one of his or her colleagues fucked up.

  3. LiveToEat says:

    Last time I went to the ER it was for my 4yo who had a cut on his chin. The ER doc glued her glove to his face while she was gluing the wound together. It was funny watching her pry the glove off his cheek. The $500 bill for it was not so funny.

    • kosmo @ The Soap Boxers says:

      Hopefully that bill was for the entire procedure, right? Or was a there a line item for “removing glove from patient’s face” that was $500?

      :)

  4. chatterboxwriting says:

    I believe this. I have seen some pretty lax infection control procedures at local facilities. One in particular is where my aunt and grandmother have both been admitted within the past year. Both of them had blood transfusions and both of them ended up with strep infections in the blood. I’m sure it’s a coincidence, but if you saw the way some of the nurses and phlebotomists worked, you’d know why it raises my eyebrows.

  5. ancientone567 says:

    It is a conflict of interest to report yourself. lol All that will happen is your insurance too run the hospital will go up along with anything related and they have to pass that expense to the consumer.

  6. Costner says:

    I know these types of reports are purposefully worded to be alarming, but note that it says it is “estimated that 15,000 Medicare patients per month experienced medical errors in a hospital that contributed to their deaths.

    Contributed… there is a lot of room to debate that term and to what level these errors “contributed”. Humans screw up – we all know this – but when you consider the millions upon millions of patients seen each year I would guess these errors aren’t that common.

    Also, how many patients would die if they simply weren’t treated? A lot more than 15,000 a month I can promise you that.

    Can they do better? Sure, but let’s not act like people are killing off patients as fast as they walk in the door. As a percentage this is probably very low and only becomes significant when it is your family member that died. Even so, the vast, vast, vast amount of medical errors aren’t responsible for a patient’s death – and when they are… you can bet there is a malpractice lawsuit swooping in to save the day.

    • oreotookie says:

      My grandfather had a long piece of wire in him for about a year. They kept fighting infections thy just wouldn’t clear up. They did 70+ scans of his chest and about a year later, someone saw the wire on one of the scans. After going back, the wire showed up in ALL of the scans. Thu removed the wire, but by the time they had found it, his kidneys were failing an his body was so weak, they couldn’t treat him for his infections and other ailments that could be DIRECTLY traced back to the wire being left in. Why do I go into all the detail?

      Well, the family went to a lawyer and was basically told that because of the laws in the state, they probably couldn’t do anything. Additionally, they couldn’t find a reputable doctor to testify. Case fell apart and the statute of limitations has passed. Malpractice lawsuits are NOT that easy. That beig said, I also strongly suspect they had crappy lawyers.

      • chatterboxwriting says:

        It’s definitely not easy to file a malpractice case. I was misdiagnosed with not one, but two, medical problems by the same hospital over a two-month period. I was in severe pain almost all the time, but they said my CT scans were normal. They said it was likely intestinal inflammation causing the problem. I eventually had to move home with my parents because I couldn’t go to work any more because of the pain. I went to my dad’s doctor and he ordered another CT scan. I almost didn’t get it done because I figured it was a waste. Turns out I had obstructive uropathy (an obstruction of the tube that leads from the kidney to the bladder) and an ovarian tumor. I had to have two surgeries to correct the problems. I wanted to file a claim against the first hospital since, if I had been diagnosed appropriately, I could have had the surgeries and been back to work in a couple weeks. I talked to a prominent attorney and he said that since I had past medical problems, I couldn’t prove that their lack of diagnosis caused me any harm. He said he’d open a case if I paid a retainer and all costs, but he wouldn’t do it on contingency.

        • rmorin says:

          Sorry for your experience but “failure to diagnose” is not malpractice. There has to be some evidence of negligence. Did someone read the CT scan wrong, or were there artifacts that would make it difficult? Did the CT imaging of the disorder present itself in an atypical way? As a healthcare professional it is bothersome that people (not necessarily you) throw around the word “mal practice”.

      • mythago says:

        Actually, I would be willing to bet that this is what happened: Your grandfather wasn’t worth any money.

        Please don’t take that as an insult. I don’t mean that as a human being, he had no value; quite the opposite. I mean that it’s likely that there were no “economic damages” like wage loss (he was retired, right?) or loss of support to somebody else (his kids were grown, right?) So the only remaining damages are non-economic damages – his pain and suffering and the family’s emotional loss of a beloved granddad. (Punitive damages are very rare.) PLUS, many states put a hard cap on non-economic damages. In my state, that amount hasn’t changed in over 30 years.

        Lawyers have to make a living like everybody else. So when the lawyers looked at the likely profit they would make IF you won AFTER the costs, it wasn’t worth it.

        TL;DR: if you’re a shitty doctor, move to a state with damage caps and stick to killing old people and children. Don’t kill breadwinners.

  7. Cat says:

    But, we have the best health care system in the world!
    Nothing to see here. Move along, folks.

    ~ The health care industry, the poor, and the wealthy.

  8. fortymegafonzies says:

    There is a **HUGE** difference between “medical error” and “adverse event.” The Consumerist headline is quite misleading and wrong, and not in agreement with what the source material says. The source material is concerned with adverse events, which are usually not medical errors. For example, grandma has a stomach bleed which may have been caused by taking aspirin that was prescribed in accordance with the best medical evidence. This is not an error, but it is an adverse event, and this what the report is referencing.

    • fortymegafonzies says:

      After a little more reading, the Consumerist (and other news outlets) summary seems even more exaggerated. The real take-away from the gov report is that when patients have bad experiences, it is only reported about 14% of the time, because most of these events are trivial or expected and the staff doesn’t think it’s worth reporting.

      “…adverse events do not always involve errors, negligence, or poor quality of care and may not always be preventable.” — from the report

      Also, among the top cited reasons for non-reporting of events (paraphrased):
      –not an error
      –patient had previous history of same event
      –is an expected event (e.g. known side effect of drug)
      –event is commonplace
      –event caused little/no harm

    • LabGnome says:

      Hey, this is the internet stop with the facts man! We need to get our hate on!

  9. u1itn0w2day says:

    I’m surprised the reporting rate is that high. I’ve found the medical industry notorious for covering up and protecting their own. Many mistakes and cover ups make dirty cops, politicians and gangsters look like girl scouts at a cookie convention on a Sunday afternoon. Especially if you were stuck with old school can do no wrong doctors in the 1980s(which meant they were trained and mentored by relics from the 50s & 60s).

    Lost family to a doctor who punctured a lung during a procedure which interns and nurses openly admitted to then another doctor had the unmitigated gaul to shake his finger in our faces saying I warned you about risks. But they wouldn’t admit to the “mistake” they warned us about. Family in charge was devasted since patient basically terminally ill on last chance and never sued. They came from an era where didn’t question doctors.

    These so called ‘good doctors in the area’ which I’m sure every patient hears never even made the hospital news magazine which they sent/send us. I checked the news and now the internet and they haven’t won shit, discovered shit, saved shit or did shit in their so called leaders of the pack illustrious career. Medical somebodies usually make the news or atleast their own hospital’s literature. I later found out that hospital was slowly phasing out long term care and complex surgical procedures. I see why.

    Keep family and friends around a patient going in for surgical procedure or long term treatment. They are least likely to be written off as that patient in the corner.

    • dougp26364 says:

      Terminally ill having a procedure with the risk of death? And it’s the doctor’s fault? Sure, I can see that.

      • u1itn0w2day says:

        They didn’t present the procedure as an option but necessity and they said several times during various treatment there’s was risk but they did not go into consequences in detail. They also made it seem routine even though there was ‘a’ chance something could go wrong.

        The person had success with the last round of chemotherapy, the incident delayed and lessend additonal chemo due their weakend state.

        If I had my way different doctors and hospitals would’ve been sought from day one for other reasons but again old school family that believed what ever the doctors told them. And when interns and nurses tell you in a manner that somebody ‘goofed’ you wonder what really went on. Looking back I think it was there way of saying the docs really screwed up and I’d sue & be a witness. They were very blunt & upfront about it, they didn’t try to explain away or excuse shit.

        • mbbbus says:

          In your first post, you express surprise that the reporting rate is so high b/c docs cover up their mistakes. In your second post you note that the docs and nurses were very up front about the error.
          It seems you are upset at a bad outcome. But a bad outcome does not equal malpractice.

        • StarKillerX says:

          There is always a “chance something could go wrong” with any surgical procedure, even during the most routine of procedures. Sometimes it’s the fault of those performing the procedure and others it’s just bad luck or circumstances that could not be foreseen or even undiagnosed conditions such as malignant hyperthermia.

          Obviously if someone is terminally ill the chances of a negative outcome are increased dramatically.

  10. dougp26364 says:

    Medicare/medicaide cut reimbursements to hospitals and doctors to balance their budgets, yet demand care not be affected. Hospitals in turn cut back on staff, most of the time non-direct patient care staff, and say it’s a good thing. Direct patient care staff now has to do the work previously done by non-direct care staff which has been laid off, which takes them away from the task at hand, taking care of patients. Mistakes happen but no one has time to fill out the tremendous amount of paperwork which, if filled out, could cost them their jobs. More paperwork will be put into place to protect the patient but, they’ll continue to cut reimbursements to balance the budget……..and we start the process all over again.
    Yep, I think I see a problematic cycle here.

  11. Buy used! says:

    Hospitals are under the same pressures as corporations to cover up mistakes and minimize harm to their own bottom lines. I don’t blame them one bit‚Äîit’s like faulting the scorpion for stinging you. The beast was created that way, and the only way America is “exceptional” in this regard is that now we have the worst, most expensive care for the ordinary individual. (Yes, we have the best specialty procedures, but that doesn’t help 99% of us.)

  12. Extended-Warranty says:

    The last thing I would ever want to deal with is cranky and sick people who refuse the proper care for “personal reasons”. However, they want tip top care, and only they exist. God forbid you make a mistake.

  13. pika2000 says:

    Good health care providers are going away faster than ever. People made mistakes, even doctors. Remember, your healthcare professionals are not protected by labor laws (varies by states, of course), eg they can be forced to work by the hospital management 24/7 without any sleep/breaks. Do you want a doctor that at his/her wits’ end do a surgery? Hospital managements couldn’t care less, as if there’s a mistake, the blame can quickly go to the individual doctor. If the hospital got sued, they have their own big lawyers and insurance and no accountability shall ever be put on the management. It always fall back to the individual provider. With people suing for every single thing to get a quick buck, you have to wonder why our healthcare system is in jeopardy. Add on to that actually-bad doctors that make everything look even worse for the good ones. Coupled with websites like this that sensationalized and mislead readers, well, God help us.

  14. FrankReality says:

    I’ll post a theory –

    it is because the medical personnel don’t trust the people who get the reports (hospital administration and the state and federal government) to do anything more than fire or punish the personnel. They’ll fire the people rather than fix the system and its processes to eliminate the chance of error.

    W. Edwards Deming, the noted quality improvement expert, stated that as part of any quality improvement process, you must stamp out fear.

  15. OMG_BECKY says:

    I’m crippled thanks to my doctor prescribing me Cipro for a *suspected* UTI (which was never confirmed by any testing). I took it for six days in 2009 and have been unable to walk since. I was 30 years old. Not one doctor I’ve ever seen about this has bothered to report anything to anyone…in fact most doctors don’t even believe that a Rx drug taken for such a short period of time could cripple someone like me. Long story short, if it wasn’t for my own reporting to the FDA they’d have no clue this even happened. Meanwhile thousands of other unsuspecting victims continue to fall victim to the HORRORS of quinolone antibiotics every year. CIPRO IS POISON.

    • u1itn0w2day says:

      I think alot of doctors treat their patients and cases like a 9-5 job that requires much less training. They want cookie cutter diagnosises & treatments. Most of your doctors are not like House(hopefully not junkies either) who relish a challenge. They want to phone it in just like many others.

      Part of the problem is that to complete medical school and internship training is that you really need an above average memory. I think alot of doctors only rely on their memory and really don’t think about the case. And since they do have an excellent memory I doubt they really try to keep up the way they should on journals since many scnerios are fresh in their memory.

      Are Cipro side effects reversable? Good Luck

    • Evil_Otto would rather pay taxes than make someone else rich says:

      [citation needed]

      No, your one unfortunate (but anecdotal) case does not suffice. Show me any independent verification of your claims in a respected medical journal or other reputable source, and then I can take your claims seriously.

      I’m sorry you can’t walk, but one bad experience shouldn’t mean everyone has to pay for it.

  16. jenesaisrien says:

    The public in general won’t see the underlying problems . Unfortunately the only outcome has been and will be more and more unsustainable regulations to be carried out by less and less man(or woman)power. If research is examined, the single most likely remedy is to HIRE AND SUPPORT more nursing care staff of all levels(not to continue the common practice of eliminating nurse assistants and licensed practical nurses to save money because the higher level nurses can do it “all” and save). It’s already penny wise and pound fooloish. More minutia recording becomes the staff’s main duty, regardless of the immediate human needs being ignored. Let’s just hire a team of police and lawyers to do the job of health care instead-obviously they are the only ones that can make sure no patient harm occurs.They can read the manuals on the fly and make sure its all followed to the T whilst the patients video it all on You tube.

    • u1itn0w2day says:

      From what I’ve seen the medical industry has been in effect ‘outsourcing’ since the 1980s with the use of technicians or specialists in order to save salary on nurses. Some techs might be pretty sharp but like any other organization when you rely on specialists those specialist do exactly what they’re supposed to. Their job & training has such a narrow focus that even during the course of treatment they won’t gain enough experience for associated conditons and causes. Specialists are also succeptable to ‘not my job syndrome’ because many specialists are there for a cookie cutter job only. And many others knowing there are “specialists” on the case also defer issues to the tech and play the ‘not my job’ game as well.

      They should have programs that should allow nurses and technicians to expand their training and knowledge base. The techs could be working twards a nursing certification and the nurses could get certified in a specialty being much of that course work probably overlaps their training.

      • jenesaisrien says:

        agreed More nursing staff and support staff ,all levels, NOT replacement for the primary nurses but help…(we have a large supply of expereinced LPNs for instance, that constantly get laid off or are not hired into acute care-totally wasted resource even though it’s cheaper to hire them-give them easy to access training to advance if they desire it, but hire them and take advabtage of the resource before they retire -or die of their work related injuries) can’t be doing all the clerical duties and changing trash and getting pitchers of water and getting blankets while also preparing/double checking /giving dangerous drugs+treatments,watching for reactions,etc. Something’s gotta give.Systems wreaked from downsizing andbean counting AND still NOT saving money!Too many problems to discuss here Anyone outside the system remains clueless

  17. DrRonster says:

    Would this be considered as several instances of misconduct? A few years ago I was hospitalized for over a week. During that time I had to move to different rooms several times for various reasons. The first room I shared had an allergy alert for me regarding aerosols. I could not return after my “bunky” (learned that after first hospitlization with ex-con) had a visitor drenched in perfume. The second room’s bunky was suicidal, and I was removed from the room and placed in a third room. The third room’s bunky arrived several hours after me and smelled worse than an ashtray. I left the room after 1 hour, about 1am. Just before being placed in the fourth room, I inquired about a private room and was surprised to find that it was a lot less than I expected and requested one. I was later placed into the fifth room, a private room. In 3 of those rooms, I was at risk either medically or physically. This had nothing to do with the Drs but with the non-medical staff, yet if that had been reported the drs would have gotten the hit.

    • DrRonster says:

      PS A few months into the next year, I received a check from the hospital reimbursing me for all that I paid extra for that stay.

  18. BradenR says:

    I wouldn’t leave the life of anyone in the hands of hospital personnel. When my MIL was in the large hospital in Grand Rapids, MI, a nurse put a gash in her leg transferring her to a wheel chair. This person grabbed the nearest towel which was soiled to stop the bleeding. I was horrifiied and immediately reported it to the nursing station without receiving anything but a shrug. I went to the closest drug store and purchased alcohol and antibiotic cream When my daughter was to be hospitalized for several days, I asked what room she would be returning to after surgery. I went to that room with my disinfecting solution and wiped absolutely everything.

  19. BradenR says:

    I wouldn’t leave the life of anyone in the hands of hospital personnel. When my MIL was in the large hospital in Grand Rapids, MI, a nurse put a gash in her leg transferring her to a wheel chair. This person grabbed the nearest towel which was soiled to stop the bleeding. I was horrifiied and immediately reported it to the nursing station without receiving anything but a shrug. I went to the closest drug store and purchased alcohol and antibiotic cream When my daughter was to be hospitalized for several days, I asked what room she would be returning to after surgery. I went to that room with my disinfecting solution and wiped absolutely everything.

  20. jenesaisrien says:

    agreed Kind of like the military+polititcians Those driving policy far removed vs soldiers on front lines…The real problems that are rarely identified or addressed..rather bits and pieces of it may be glimpsed that are part of an entire process-.If somehow does ID a problem-(an example for non health care people-like let’s say pre surgical check like pre flight checklist outloud to make sure the proper arm is being operated upon-that is very “good” idea but then no extra time is given to properly do all these new wonderful checklists,creating less time to do other important tasks that could result in possible harm-if one would ask the nurses they could have told you these things way ahead of the “studies”), then these changes are instituted without collaboration or in a fair or evidence based manner A person who’s job is handling theory and data collection at the desk has no connection to the actual work done -has absolutely no clue-and whose job depends on perpetuating giving out rules-isn’t going to care.
    The few (brave,desparate,simple-minded,blind or simply insane by now) ones left on front lines taking the hits for them and the patient dissatisfaction, trying to prevent harm despite the new safety rules that somehow end up giving less and less safety- get disciplined /fired/pressured to do more with less and the higher ups sit back and check that “annoying problem” off their list, plan next vacation. Oh it’s just a messNot sure it will get better before it gets worse.
    END RESULT FOR NOW:Yes you need to educate yourself about your health and be PROACTIVE before you need help… if in hospital it’s not a bad idea to be aware and informed to prevent errors but at same time it’s in your best interest to try your best not to constantly second guess every small thing unless it appears way out of the normal -try not to alienate those caring for you at front lines either-avoid power struggle in order to protect yourself and family-try some diplomacy and humor and understanding as well. Most have good intention with the occasional one with a “tude”-but you may need that jerk’s skills to save a life, so tread carefully No it shouldn’t be that way but it IS.

  21. Lyn Torden says:

    What is soil? Some 4 letter word?

  22. Dallas_shopper says:

    I know some doctors in real life and while they still care deeply about their patients and about providing their patients with meaningful, quality care, they are often stymied by administrators with little to no medical background whose only interests seem to be keeping costs down on non-paying patients and milking patients with good insurance for all they’re worth. Then there are the families of patients to deal with (the ‘DO WHATEVER YOU CAN TO KEEP THIS DYING HUSK OF A PERSON ALIVE’ crowd) and the intense pressure to divert blame, all while working in an environment that virtually guarantees preventable medical errors because to put safeguards in place might impact revenue…yeah, it pretty much sucks to be a general medical doc in any hospital in any major city these days. I don’t envy them one bit.

  23. NightWriter says:

    What a great example of the need for government regulations! Those who believe in privatized medicine believe that in order to keep costs down, patients need to have a choice. But, if businesses are able to lie about their quality, its a choice between liars. So, here we have government regulations and an enforcement agency to make sure that the private sector tells the truth to the public so that the free market can work better.