An estimated 1 million people or more are harmed in the hospital every year, from infections to injuries to surgical mistakes.
ProPublica reporters and a panel of medical experts are answering your patient safety questions today at 1 pm ET. Who is responsible? And how can we fix it? Ask your questions here, or tweet with the hashtag #MedErrorsChat.
Interesting discussion going on in ProPublica’s patient harm Facebook group about whether or not doctors should be “cutoff” after a certain age. Weigh in with your thoughts.
A couple thoughts from the community:
"It would be difficult to set a firm age, but I also think it’s important for doctors, particularly surgeons to be encouraged to recognize when it’s time to step down. My father-in-law is an ophthalmologist who recently decided to stop doing surgery at 75 – not because he couldn’t physically do it anymore, but because at his age he didn’t want the extra stress. He’s also part of a large practice with many young(er) surgeons, so he will continue to see patients but refer the surgical cases. I wish all doctors were so self aware." - Christian John Lillis
"Age is not the issue: competency is. A physician’s license should be bestowed as a privilege, not an entitlement and sham peer medical boards will continue to be exposed by patient harm." – Joleen Chambers.
"I agree that age should not be an issue for competent doctors, and many of the older ones who are old school are much more compassionate and willing to work the old fashioned way: putting the interests of the patient first! Some even do housecalls yet!" – Veronica James
Nice little piece on safety after a hospital stay. Karen Curtiss, founder of Campaign Zero, also has tips in her patient checklists on how to stay safe recovering from a hospital stay. We covered the tips here.
He said his law practice is a business and that it wouldn’t be good business to pursue the doctor in court.
A member of our Patient Harm facebook group, discussing why attorneys might turn down a medical malpractice case.
Have you or a family member suffered from medical malpractice? Join the conversation here.
By Marshall Allen
Among the more active members of our Facebook group on patient safety, Veronica James stands out.
She joined soon after we started the group in May and shared the story of her mother, who suffered a bedsore and had her breathing tube accidentally dislodged in a long-term acute-care hospital. James believes poor care contributed to her 90-year-old mother’s death.
Medical error is a widespread issue. But many don’t file formal complaints with regulators.
In 2009, the health care system wasted an estimated $765 billion – more than the entire budget of the Department of Defense – according to a report by the Institute of Medicine.
The system is hemorrhaging money. So our health care reporte Marshall Allen wants to know: What do you think can be done to stop it? Have you had experiences with any medical facilities working in innovative ways to cut costs?
We have no more important ally than the media…Why, then, do so many patients who have suffered medical harm have a hard time getting the ear of the press?Patient safety advocate Helen Haskell shared her pointers for approaching the press and getting them to listen to your story of medical error.