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.

A Patient’s Guide: How To Stay Safe In a Hospital

Checklists have become more common in the operating room. Now, there’s one for patients and families, too.

What a New Doctor Learned About Medical Mistakes From Her Mom’s Death

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.”

How You Can Help ProPublica Cover Patient Safety

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.

How We Used Facebook to Power Our Investigation Into Patient Harm

We’ve launched community and crowdsourcing efforts long before we’ve published a single traditional story.

New York’s Ongoing Blackout: Hospitals in Lower Manhattan

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.

NYU Hospital’s Backup System Undone by Key Part in Flooded Basement

Hospitalofficial explains how move to rooftop generators failed to prevent failure ofbackup power during Hurricane Sandy

In Hurricane’s Wake, Decisions Not to Evacuate Hospitals Raise Questions

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.

Why Do Hospital Generators Keep Failing?

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.

What a Failed Vegas Sex Pill and The Meningitis Outbreak Have In Common

Drugs produced at ‘compounding’ pharmacies — like the steroids suspected of 15 meningitis deaths — are exempt from the safety checks that mass-produced pharmaceuticals receive.

Are High-Volume Dental Chains Exploiting Kids on Medicaid?

As part of our ongoing interest in patient safety, we occasionally interview other journalists who’ve examined health care quality.

Why Patients Don’t Report Medical Errors

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.

How You Can Help ProPublica Investigate Health Care Quality

Be part of the patient safety conversation, get regular updates and share stories or views.

Why Patient Harm Is One of the Leading Causes of Death in America

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.

To Stent Or Not To Stent, That Is In Question

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.

Why Can't Medicine Seem to Fix Simple Mistakes?

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.

Cardiac Arrest: Hospital Refuses to Give Widow her Husband's Heart

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.

Could The Supreme Court’s Health Care Ruling Kill Patient Safety Reforms?

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?

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