A ProPublica analysis of nearly 17,000 surgeons finds stark differences in complications rates for some of the most routine elective procedures. Read the story
Join the patient safety conversation, get regular updates and analysis and contribute to our ongoing reporting. More »
All 65 Stories (0)updates since last visit
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.”
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.
Paula Schulte couldn't survive a cascade of medical mistakes. After that, her family couldn't get accountability.
A new statement by the American Board of Orthopaedic Surgery says its executive director “miscommunicated” his own preference without getting necessary approval.
The American Board of Orthopaedic Surgery says ProPublica’s analysis can help identify surgeons with a high rate of complications.
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.
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.
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.
The names of five cancer centers were missing from Surgeon Scorecard. We have updated the database so you can now find them.
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.
The methodology for our analysis of surgical complication rates.
ProPublica's Surgeon Scorecard is a crucial step in the larger process of spurring accountability for breakdowns in patient care.
What Experts Are Saying About Surgeon Scorecard
Here are questions you are probably asking yourself about Surgeon Scorecard.
A ProPublica analysis of nearly 17,000 surgeons finds stark differences in complications rates for some of the most routine elective procedures.
ProPublica analyzed 2.3 million Medicare operations and identified 67,000 patients who suffered serious complications as a result: infections, uncontrollable bleeding, even death. Next week, we report the complication rates of 17,000 surgeons.
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.
A firm sold 18,000 knee-replacement tools before the government called a halt.
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.
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.
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.
A reporter returns to his hometown and confronts the new reality of legalized marijuana.
Six recommended steps to take if you've suffered harm in a medical facility.
When surgical team members endorsed the robot in an ad, controversy ensued. An internal review finds no ill intent, but says policies were violated, calls for clearer rules.
A study by Medicare’s inspector general of skilled nursing facilities says nearly 22,000 patients were injured and more than 1,500 died in a single month — a higher rate of medical errors than hospitals.
The National Quality Forum says it is considering “substantive changes” to guidelines that recommend a surgical antiseptic at the center of a kickback scandal.
Dr. Christine Cassel said she is voluntarily stepping down from directorships at two health care companies that have an interest in the National Quality Forum’s work.
The former head of a prestigious Boston hospital found it unsettling that the surgical staff of an Illinois university medical center endorsed the medical device in an ad in the New York Times Magazine. After he started asking questions, the hospital asked that the ad be suspended.
The National Quality Forum says it approved allowing Dr. Christine Cassel collect six-figure compensation to serve on the boards of health care companies affected by the group’s work.
Following a ProPublica report, Sen. Charles Grassley wants to know what steps the country’s leading health quality group has taken to avoid commercial conflicts-of-interest.
After an adviser is accused of taking kickbacks, the National Quality Forum launches a review of its widely used patient safety guidelines.
Dozens of readers responded to our post about Ernie Ciccotelli, who couldn’t get a lawyer to pursue his claim for damages from a life-threatening infection he acquired in the hospital.
Studies show that nine of 10 patients seeking a medical malpractice attorney won’t find one — women, children and the elderly in particular.
Telling a patient about another doctor’s medical error can mean losing business or suffering retribution. Now, some physicians are looking for ways to break the code of silence.
An updated estimate says it could be at least 210,000 patients a year – more than twice the number in the Institute of Medicine’s frequently quoted report, “To Err is Human.”
Since the mysterious death of Linda Carswell’s husband, a Texas hospital has kept his heart on ice. This week, an appeals court lifted an order blocking Carswell’s family from retrieving it.
Have you been affected by patient harm? Help us capture the stories behind the statistics by sharing your story and photo with us on Tumblr.
ProPublica reporters explain the data behind Prescriber Checkup, the first database to reveal what medications doctors and other providers are giving patients under Medicare’s Part D prescription drug program.
Over the course of his 16-year career as a registered nurse, Charles Cullen murdered at least 40 patients – making him one of the most prolific serial killers in American history. Author Charles Graeber chronicled Cullen’s killing spree in his book, The Good Nurse, and shares the chilling backstory.
As part of our ongoing investigation into patient safety, ProPublica reporters Marshall Allen and Olga Pierce produced this interactive story in collaboration with PBS Frontline and Ocupop during a May 11-16 hackathon.
In a five-day hackathon, ProPublica and PBS Frontline team up to create an interactive story exploring six myths about hospitals and patient safety.
An estimated 1 million or more patients are harmed in America's hospitals every year. Join doctors and patient safety advocates for a discussion on accountability and spurring improvement.
It's estimated that more than a million people per year suffer infections, medical mistakes and other harm in the hospital. But even if patients are lucky enough to physically recover, their lives may never be the same.
Several people have expressed frustration that the media hasn't told their story. Here's our tips on how to get your story heard.
ProPublica's Marshall Allen, Olga Pierce and Blair Hickman walk us through their ongoing series on patient safety, and how it’s essentially inverted the investigative process by incorporating community and crowdsourcing efforts long before they’ve published a single traditional story.
Checklists have become more common in the operating room. Now, there’s one for patients and families, too.
Doctors are often referred to as the "second victim" of a medical error. We want to hear about it.
Dr. Elaine Goodman says hospital culture has to embrace the notion that reporting and tracking medical errors are a positive, not punitive, step: “It’s not enough just to have caring, qualified people to keep the patient safe.”
More than 2,000 people — patients, doctors, nurses — have joined our Facebook group to debate causes and solutions to the problem of patients being harmed while receiving care.
A typical investigation often takes months before a story is published. We used a slightly different approach.
People often tell us they wish a journalist would tell their story. We can’t get to every one – but there are ways to tell your story on your own.
There is no firm timetable on the return of some of New York's largest hospitals. And concern is rising that the patchwork system can't last for long.
Hospital official explains how move to rooftop generators failed to prevent failure of backup power during Hurricane Sandy
Lessons learned in previous disasters help avert immediate catastrophe, yet, as a reporter looks on, health officials struggle to deal with glitches and unforeseen dangers.
The power failure at New York University Langone Medical Center during Hurricane Sandy shows that hospitals still may not be doing enough to prepare for disasters.
Medical professionals: we want to know what you think the top patient safety challenges are.
Drugs produced at ‘compounding’ pharmacies — like the steroids suspected of 15 meningitis deaths — are exempt from the safety checks that mass-produced pharmaceuticals receive.
As part of our ongoing interest in patient safety, we occasionally interview other journalists who’ve examined health care quality.
If you or a loved one has suffered patient harm, you can help inform and guide our reporting by filling out our questionnaire.
Patient safety flaws remain hidden if no one finds out about them. Now, a federal health care quality agency is planning a new effort to encourage disclosure of medical mistakes.
Easily search nursing home inspection reports nationwide, with our updated app.
Share your expertise with reporters Olga Pierce and Marshall Allen.
Be part of the patient safety conversation, get regular updates and share stories or views
New report analyzes the cost of medical waste in America.
A patient safety advocate shares lessons she’s learned about journalism with others who have suffered medical harm.
In his new book, surgeon Marty Makary gives his thoughts on why patient harm persists, and what to do about it. He sat down with us for a Q&A.
How a mother whose child died from medical error moved beyond her pain to protect other patients.
Patient safety advocate Rosemary Gibson thinks the too-big-to-fail health care industry lacks accountability and a forceful mandate to improve.
As Hospital Corporation of America comes under scrutiny, experts say unnecessary heart procedures are common, costing taxpayers, driving insurance premiums and putting patients at risk.
The death of 12-year-old Rory Staunton from septic shock prompted NYU's Langone Medical Center to revamp its emergency room procedures to address a startling lapse. History shows that the profession is unlikely to learn from this mistake.
After eight years, the hospital that performed Jerry Carswell's autopsy acknowledges it has his heart, but still won't give it to his wife.
In all the talk about the Supreme Court’s impending health care reform ruling, one question is often overlooked: What might happen to the many patient safety and quality of care provisions sprinkled through the Affordable Care Act?
Charlie Ornstein and Tracy Weber talk about the money docs get from drug companies, and why it matters.
A space for patients, families, medical providers and other journalists to connect, share their stories and learn.
Got a tip? Fill out our form.
Share Your Story
Your input can help ProPublica's reporting.
Have you worked in health care? Tell us what you’ve observed about patient safety.
Have you or a loved one been harmed? Tell us about it.
Join the Discussion
Join the over 3,300 members of ProPublica's Patient Harm Group to learn, share your story and connect with others.
Icon graphics courtesy of the Noun Project.