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Hospital Fined By OSHA For Workplace Violence Violations

From Campus Safety Magazine:

DANBURY, Conn. — The Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) has cited Danbury Hospital for failing to provide its employees with sufficient protection against workplace violence. The hospital has been fined $6,300.

The announcement comes on the heels of the March 2010 attack, when nurse Andy Hull was shot three times by 86-year-old Stanley Lupienski, a patient at the hospital.

Yes, $6,300 isn’t much money, I agree. But I’d imagine it’s not good for admin careers…

*This blog post was originally published at GruntDoc*

For Quality Patient Care, Teamwork In Medicine Is Critical

From KevinMD’s medical blog, guest post by Toni Brayer, M.D., shares a story where a team approach in medicine is critical for quality patient care.

Dr. Brayer writes:

“Medicine is a team sport and it is only when the team is humming and everyone is working together that patients can have good outcomes. Hospital errors, medication errors, poor communication between doctors and nurses are prevented by adherence to protocols that everyone follows. It takes laser focus, measuring outcomes and a great deal of hard work to ensure everyone is pulling together in a hospital. The fact that these bedside nurses take the time to work on error reduction and patient safety is really amazing. Have you seen how hard nurses work? My hat is off to these dedicated caregivers.”

Dr. Brayer is exactly right when she writes “medicine is a team sport.” Read more »

*This blog post was originally published at Health in 30*

Connecticut Hospitals Choose To Hide Medical Errors

There is a disturbing story in the Hartford Courant (via the WSJ Health Blog) on how Connecticut state lawmakers have helped hospitals keep medical mistakes secret from the public.  It’s true:

The legislature in 2002 ordered hospitals to disclose all serious patient injuries “associated with medical management.”  But after the first reports were made public, hospital lobbyists persuaded lawmakers to rewrite the statute in 2004, limiting the kinds of adverse events that must be divulged, and promising to keep reports secret unless they led to an investigation.

What happened next is predictable.  According to the Courant, public access to data about hospital adverse events dropped by 90%. Read more »

*This blog post was originally published at See First Blog*

Dr. Val Tells ABC News About Hospital Errors And How To Avoid Them

I kick off this segment with a surprising twist: I describe a hospital error that I experienced as a patient in the ER of a famous academic medical center.  And yes, I give a shout out to Paul Levy at minute 5 for his courageous efforts to reduce infection rates at Beth Israel Deaconess Medical Center in Boston.

Hospital CEO, Paul Levy, Taking Heat For His Transparency

There is nothing concealed that will not be disclosed, or hidden that will not be made known.

– Mat 10:26

The Internet may be fueling the fulfillment of an ancient prophecy – that there will come a day when nothing can be kept hidden or secret. Of course, early adopters of full transparency are regarded as reckless by some (potentially those who have something to hide?) and laudable by others (though they may be afraid to follow suit). In today’s Boston Globe there is an article about my friend and fellow blogger, Paul Levy. Paul is the CEO of Beth Israel/Deaconess, leading the charge to make hospital errors a matter of public record.

Paul writes about the errors made at his hospital (and many other subjects) in his popular medical blog, Running A Hospital. The blog won the “Best Medical Blog of 2007” award, and he is the first (and perhaps only) hospital CEO that has adopted such a high view of transparency. And for that, I commend him.

In my experience, hospital errors are alarmingly common. Read more »

Latest Interviews

IDEA Labs: Medical Students Take The Lead In Healthcare Innovation

It’s no secret that doctors are disappointed with the way that the U.S. healthcare system is evolving. Most feel helpless about improving their work conditions or solving technical problems in patient care. Fortunately one young medical student was undeterred by the mountain of disappointment carried by his senior clinician mentors…

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How To Be A Successful Patient: Young Doctors Offer Some Advice

I am proud to be a part of the American Resident Project an initiative that promotes the writing of medical students residents and new physicians as they explore ideas for transforming American health care delivery. I recently had the opportunity to interview three of the writing fellows about how to…

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Latest Book Reviews

Book Review: Is Empathy Learned By Faking It Till It’s Real?

I m often asked to do book reviews on my blog and I rarely agree to them. This is because it takes me a long time to read a book and then if I don t enjoy it I figure the author would rather me remain silent than publish my…

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The Spirit Of The Place: Samuel Shem’s New Book May Depress You

When I was in medical school I read Samuel Shem s House Of God as a right of passage. At the time I found it to be a cynical yet eerily accurate portrayal of the underbelly of academic medicine. I gained comfort from its gallows humor and it made me…

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Eat To Save Your Life: Another Half-True Diet Book

I am hesitant to review diet books because they are so often a tangled mess of fact and fiction. Teasing out their truth from falsehood is about as exhausting as delousing a long-haired elementary school student. However after being approached by the authors’ PR agency with the promise of a…

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