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Patient Safety

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NEWS
March 7, 2012 | By Amy Worden, Inquirer Harrisburg Bureau
HARRISBURG - A panel credited with reducing medical errors at Pennsylvania hospitals says its own health is endangered - by Gov. Corbett's plan to fold it into the state Department of Health. The board of the Patient Safety Authority adopted a resolution Tuesday saying such a move would destroy its autonomy. The privately funded authority, which collects and studies hospital data, has gained a national reputation for improving patient safety. "We felt strongly we should resist this movement," said the authority's acting chairman, Stanton Smullens, chief medical officer at Jefferson Health System in Philadelphia.
NEWS
December 1, 1999
In a welcome call-to-arms over patient safety, a federal panel this week lamented that the typical American hospital has become a high-accident area. And there aren't enough hard hats to go around. The 19-member committee of the Institute of Medicine at the National Academy of Sciences found that life-threatening mistakes by doctors and other hospital staff rank among the nation's leading causes of death. "Health care is a decade or more behind other high-risk industries in its attention to ensuring basic safety," the panel said.
NEWS
June 11, 2002 | By Josh Goldstein INQUIRER STAFF WRITER
Nearly two decades after the death of 18-year-old Libby Zion in a Manhattan hospital while under the care of a poorly supervised and tired young doctor, the issue of fatigued resident physicians is again at the center of a national debate on patient safety. And with more than 4,000 young doctors working long hours to complete their training in area hospitals from South Jersey to Wilmington, the potential link between exhausted residents and medical mistakes is a particular concern here.
NEWS
January 27, 2004 | By Robert Moran INQUIRER TRENTON BUREAU
A bill to increase reporting of medical errors to improve patient safety was unanimously approved yesterday by a legislative committee. The Senate panel also heard testimony on how hospitals could prevent cases similar to that of Charles Cullen, the nurse who has claimed to have killed up to 40 patients at different hospitals over 16 years. State officials acknowledge that the current medical-reporting system is inadequate. Clifton R. Lacy, commissioner of the state Department of Health and Senior Services, said that "there is significant underreporting of errors" in New Jersey and around the country.
BUSINESS
May 23, 2001 | By Josh Goldstein INQUIRER STAFF WRITER
Pennsylvania's two most powerful health-care lobby groups joined together yesterday in an effort to reduce the cost of malpractice insurance premiums for doctors and hospitals. The Pennsylvania Medical Society, which represents doctors, and the Hospital and Health System Association of Pennsylvania announced a proposal to change the state's tort system, phase out the Medical Professional Liability Catastrophe Loss Fund, implement judicial reforms, and imrove patient safety. Unless changes are made, the two groups said, patient access to health care will be hurt.
BUSINESS
April 24, 2003 | By Karl Stark INQUIRER STAFF WRITER
The Albert Einstein Healthcare Network yesterday named Barry R. Freedman, former head of a large, embattled hospital in New York City, as chief executive officer and president. Freedman, 54, will take over May 12 from interim CEO A. Susan Bernini, who will return to her former post as chief operating officer of the North Philadelphia-based network. "Barry is a highly respected health-care executive with a national reputation for his collaborative relationships," said Joseph T. Sebastianelli, CEO of the Jefferson Health System, which includes Einstein.
BUSINESS
November 23, 2015 | By Harold Brubaker, Inquirer Staff Writer
Excessive blood loss after childbirth is a leading cause of death for mothers if the bleeding is not caught in time. It's also a big cause of medical malpractice lawsuits. That's why a team of doctors, nurses, and others at the Hospital of the University of Pennsylvania worked through a simulation of postpartum hemorrhage on Tuesday with an actor posing as a live "patient. " "It mimicked the chaos" of real life, said Lauren Hughes, a nurse who participated in the training.
NEWS
May 29, 2008 | By Marie McCullough INQUIRER STAFF WRITER
Some hospitals in Southeastern and South Central Pennsylvania have had security breaches in their newborn-care units. The Pennsylvania "Department of Health has become aware of a number of recent occurrences where one or more females attempted to access the OB [obstetric] or newborn-care areas . . . under false pretenses," said an alert e-mailed to hospitals last Thursday by the Hospital and Healthsystem Association of Pennsylvania. "At some facilities, the woman requested a tour of the OB facility.
NEWS
August 3, 2005
If a jumbo jet dropped out of the sky every other day, you can bet all your frequent-flier miles that the nation's leaders would leap into action with a plan to safeguard air travelers. So what's taken Washington policymakers so long to deal with a problem that contributes to as many as 98,000 deaths nationally each year? The problem is medical errors. The scale of the problem has been known at least since 1999, when a landmark Institute of Medicine study cited that number as the upper range of how many people are killed by medical errors annually.
NEWS
December 1, 2010
TWO RECENT reports have determined that hospital stays can be hazardous to your health. Still. In 1999, a shocking report by the independent Institute of Medicine, which advises the government on health issues, found that medical mistakes were the cause of a million injuries and up to 98,000 deaths a year. The report was supposed to be a turning point in the patient safety movement. In the years since, medical institutions have touted new measures to reduce hospital-acquired infections and medication errors as well as to prevent so-called "never events," the mistakes that are never supposed to happen in a health-care setting but too often do. Yet a study of 10 hospitals in North Carolina - a state that ranks high in patient-safety policies - found that things aren't improving.
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ARTICLES BY DATE
NEWS
April 17, 2016 | By Chad Terhune, KAISER HEALTH NEWS
The number of potentially deadly infections from contaminated medical scopes is far higher than what federal officials previously estimated, a new congressional investigation shows. As many as 350 patients at 41 medical facilities in the U.S. and worldwide were infected or exposed to tainted gastrointestinal scopes from Jan. 1, 2010, to Oct. 31, 2015, according to the Food and Drug Administration. A separate Senate investigation released in January found 250 scope-related infections at 25 hospitals and clinics in the U.S. and Europe.
NEWS
March 22, 2016
By Renee Amoore As state legislators battle over the budget, patients await a new way to battle their diseases. As a former nurse, I've treated patients who have exhausted almost every treatment option but are still searching for new means of relief. And medical advances have led to more innovative and life-changing medicines - specifically, biologics and their alternatives, biosimilars. Biologics are derived from living cells, making them difficult to replicate. Biosimilars are nearly identical options that are designed to be highly similar to their biologic counterparts.
NEWS
March 20, 2016 | By Shefali Luthra, KAISER HEALTH NEWS
Encouraging doctors and nurses to wash their hands frequently has always been considered an easy and effective way to curb the spread of infection in hospitals and other health facilities. But a new research letter published Monday in JAMA Internal Medicine points to another key group of people who aren't always keeping their hands so clean and probably should: patients. Researchers focused on inner-city Detroit and examined patients who went from hospitals to post-acute care facilities - rehabilitation centers, skilled-nursing facilities, hospice and long-term care hospitals.
NEWS
February 20, 2016 | By Chad Terhune, KAISER HEALTH NEWS
As superbug outbreaks raised alarm across the country last year, a prominent doctor at Fox Chase Cancer Center wrote in a leading medical journal about how to reduce the risk of these often-deadly patient infections. Jeffrey Tokar, director of gastrointestinal endoscopy, pointed to recent outbreaks from contaminated medical scopes, and discussed steps doctors and hospitals could take to ensure patient safety, in his Sept. 22 article in the Annals of Internal Medicine. "Health-care facilities and providers should strive to establish an environment of open information exchange with patients about what is being done to maximize their safety," Tokar and his two coauthors wrote.
NEWS
February 19, 2016
By David A. Asch and Sanjay V. Desai Let's say your mother requires a colon resection due to a small cancer and has to be admitted to one of two hospitals in town. Both are well-respected teaching hospitals full of surgery residents - young doctors who have recently completed medical school and are training under the supervision of experienced surgeons. In both hospitals, the residents work no more than 80 hours a week. But in one, the residents sometimes work for 30-hour stretches, while in the other, they are not allowed to work more than 16 hours at a time.
NEWS
January 10, 2016 | By Sandy Bauers, For The Inquirer
As a longtime nurse, Mary Lou Manning has seen some horrific infectious diseases, from AIDS to anthrax to Ebola. But Manning, who has published more than 35 articles on infectious diseases, focuses more on how to prevent the spread of infection in the first place. Manning's work as an ambassador for global infection prevention has taken her to numerous countries. In 2007, she joined a post-tsunami recovery team in Indonesia. During the recent Ebola crisis, Manning was on the faculty of a Centers for Disease Control and Prevention safety training program for health-care workers going to West Africa.
BUSINESS
November 23, 2015 | By Harold Brubaker, Inquirer Staff Writer
Excessive blood loss after childbirth is a leading cause of death for mothers if the bleeding is not caught in time. It's also a big cause of medical malpractice lawsuits. That's why a team of doctors, nurses, and others at the Hospital of the University of Pennsylvania worked through a simulation of postpartum hemorrhage on Tuesday with an actor posing as a live "patient. " "It mimicked the chaos" of real life, said Lauren Hughes, a nurse who participated in the training.
NEWS
October 1, 2014 | By Marie McCullough, Inquirer Staff Writer
Two new studies add to a mountain of evidence that the U.S. Food and Drug Administration has done a poor job of making sure medical devices are safe. The studies, in the current issue of JAMA Internal Medicine, are accompanied by commentaries that point out that the agency recognizes the need for change and is in the midst of improving the device approval system. But critics say the FDA has an inherent conflict because of its dual role of protecting public health and encouraging medical innovation.
NEWS
September 28, 2014 | By Marie McCullough, Inquirer Staff Writer
A Delaware hospital system cut the use of heart-monitoring technology by 70 percent without compromising patient safety by changing the electronic ordering system to reflect cardiac-care guidelines. The study by the Christiana Care Health System in Wilmington, published Monday in JAMA Internal Medicine, safely reduced the daily number of patients monitored with cardiac telemetry from 357 to 109, a hefty saving of $13,200 a day. "It is remarkable to achieve such a substantial reduction in the use of this resource without significantly increased adverse outcomes," University of California-San Francisco physician Nader Najafi wrote in an accompanying commentary.
NEWS
August 21, 2014 | By Michael Vitez, Inquirer Staff Writer
Joel J. Nobel, 79, of Gladwyne, a physician who pioneered the patient-safety movement and, in a colleague's words, "made hospitals safer for everybody," died Wednesday, Aug. 13, at his home from complications of cancer and diabetes. Dr. Nobel was a resident surgeon at Presbyterian Hospital in 1968 when a 4-year-old patient died because a hospital defibrillator malfunctioned. Dr. Nobel had alerted administrators several times that week that the device was not working. That tragedy changed him, and society.
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