Patient Safety

Exploring Quality of Care in the U.S.

More than 1 million patients suffer harm each year while being treated in the U.S. health care system. Even more receive substandard care or costly overtreatment. Our ongoing investigation of patient safety features in-depth reporting, discussion and tools for patients.

Doctor Confesses: I Lied to Protect Colleague in Malpractice Suit

A surgeon who lied about his partner’s skills on the witness stand has been haunted by the deception for nearly two decades.

New Report: Problem Care Harms Almost One-Third of Rehab Hospital Patients

Many patients sent to rehab facilities to recover from medical crises or procedures sometimes suffer additional harm from the care itself, a government study concludes.

Study Urges CDC to Revise Count of Deaths from Medical Error

If not for flawed tracking, medical mistakes would be the third-leading cause of death, researchers at Johns Hopkins say.

When a Brain Surgeon Becomes a Malpractice Lawyer

Lawrence Schlachter has seen medicine from inside the operating room and the courtroom. Lots of doctors care about patient safety, he says. “They’re just afraid to come out.”

How Denmark Dumped Medical Malpractice and Improved Patient Safety

In the U.S., patients harmed during medical care have few avenues for redress. The Danes chose to forget about fault and focus on what’s fair.

A Trail of Medical Errors Ends in Grief, But No Answers

Paula Schulte couldn't survive a cascade of medical mistakes. After that, her family couldn't get accountability.

Orthopedic Board Hasn’t Adopted Surgeon Scorecard After All

A new statement by the American Board of Orthopaedic Surgery says its executive director “miscommunicated” his own preference without getting necessary approval.

Orthopedic Board Will Use Surgeon Scorecard to Help Re-certify Docs

The American Board of Orthopaedic Surgery says ProPublica’s analysis can help identify surgeons with a high rate of complications.

Our Rebuttal to RAND’s Critique of Surgeon Scorecard

The think tank claims Scorecard’s methods aren’t reliable, but its commentary is undermined by supposition, conflicts of interest and a lack of evidence.

Editor’s Note: ‘Dr. Abscess’ and Why Surgeon Scorecard Matters

Critics claim our analysis of surgical complications is flawed. We disagree. For the first time, patients can see a surgeon’s record – and use it to help make their best choice.

For a Surgeon With a History of Complications, a Felony Past

As a medical student, Florida spine surgeon Constantine Toumbis stabbed a friend outside a bar. Documents show he omitted or misrepresented his record in regulatory filings.

Surgeon Scorecard

We calculated complication rates for surgeons performing one of eight elective procedures under Medicare, carefully adjusting for differences in patient health, age and hospital quality. Use this database to know more about a surgeon before your operation.

Alleged Patient Safety Kickbacks Lead To $1 Million Settlement

The Justice Department claimed patient safety celebrity Dr. Chuck Denham solicited payments from a drug company to win a prestigious National Quality Forum endorsement for its product.

Unapproved, but Used in Surgery

A firm sold 18,000 knee-replacement tools before the government called a halt.

Patient Safety Journal Adjusts After an Eye-Opening Scandal

Kickback allegations against its former editor prompted the Journal of Patient Safety to review his writings and adopt new standards for disclosing commercial conflicts of interest.

We’re Still Not Tracking Patient Harm

Top patient-safety experts call on Congress to step in and, among other steps, give the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention wider responsibility for measuring medical mistakes.

Beyond Ratings: More Tools Coming to Pick Your Doctor

For years, patients have had few ways to compare doctors beyond their reputations. With a huge Medicare data release this week, that may soon change.

Rocky Mountain High or Reefer Madness? Legal Pot in Colorado Comes with Risks

A reporter returns to his hometown and confronts the new reality of legalized marijuana.

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