Thursday, October 12, 2006

Public interested in ‘curing’ the nation’s hospitals

QUICKLINKS to posts in this blog:

    Newsweek magazine devoted 20 pages in its most recent issue (Oct. 16) to stories with the provocative headline, “Fixing America’s Hospitals.” There is no doubt this would have been the cover story had not the Congressional page scandal occurred.

    Last week on PBS, and for the next three weeks, a documentary series looks at “Remaking American Medicine.”

    Coincidence? Hardly. Since the publication of “To Err is Human” in 1999 (which disclosed that between 44,000 and 98,000 hospitalized patients in the U.S. die each year from a medical error), public interest in creating a safer patient experience has mushroomed.

    “Patient safety is not something that’s only discussed in hospitals or classrooms anymore,” said Keith Fontaine, Vice President, Corporate Communications. “It’s a real issue that has captured the public’s attention. Patients and their families want to know what we’re doing to make their experience as safe as possible.”

    JCAHO’s Patient Safety Goals, the national quality measures and the new HCAHPS survey of inpatients’ experience are all outgrowths of this safety-quality-experience effort, said Peter Shea, MD, Medical Director.

    “We have the goals, and we know what they are. We agree they make sense for quality patient care. Now we must live out the goals,” Dr. Shea said. “That’s what people expect, and that’s why there is huge public interest in this topic.”

    The Newsweek stories can be read online at:

    Information on the PBS series is at:


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